Ryan Blaney leads Ford sweep of top five in Texas qualifying

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Ryan Blaney leads Ford sweep of top five in Texas qualifying
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Nov 3, 2018, 12:05 AM

Ryan Blaney led a Ford sweep of the top five positions Friday in NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway.

Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Accella/Carlisle
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Accella/Carlisle
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Accella/Carlisle
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Rush Truck Centers

Blaney just missed the track qualifying record, using an average lap speed of 200.505 mph in the final round to claim the pole for Sunday’s AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

The record of 200.915 mph was set by Kurt Busch in the 2017 spring race at the track.

The pole is Blaney’s third of the season and fifth of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.

“It felt really fast. That is what you get with this night time qualifying. High speeds. That is really what you get," Blaney said. "That is cool doing under the lights qualifying. Speeds pick up and it has been cool here today.

"We have had a really good Ford all day and it is nice to back it up in qualifying. It doesn't mean a lot if you are fastest in practice and blow it in qualifying. It was cool to be solid all day. Really big thanks to this whole group for giving me a really great race car and I am excited to see how it is in race trim tomorrow."

Clint Bowyer ended up second-fastest (200.230 mph) and Kevin Harvick third (199.941 mph). Aric Almirola and Brad Keselowski completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 12 starters are Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, William Byron, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard and Erik Jones.

Round 2

Logano became the first driver on Friday to cross the 200 mph barrier when he led the second round with an average lap speed of 200.267 mph.

Harvick was second (199.498 mph) and Kurt Busch was third (199.483 mph) as Fords swept the top three positions.

Jones was fourth and Kyle Busch fifth.

Also advancing to the final round were Hamlin, Byron, Blaney, Bowyer, Menard, Keselowski and Almirola.

Reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr. was knocked out of the 12th position late in the session by Almirola and will start Sunday’s race in 13th.

“For whatever reason we’ve fallen off here in qualifying since they repaved the track, but we always still seem to race well,” Truex said.

Also failing to advance to the final round were Ryan Newman, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson.

Round 1

Blaney, who was fastest in practice on Friday, ended up topping the first 15-minute qualifying session with an average lap speed of 199.682 mph.

Fellow Ford driver Harvick was second (199.152 mph) and Kyle Busch was third (198.624 mph). Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five as Fords claimed four of the top-five positions.

Rounding out the Top 12 were Almirola, Byron, Jones, Logano, Jamie McMurray, Keselowski and Chris Buescher.

David Ragan spun off Turn 4 just as the session came to a close. His No. 38 Ford suffered some damage before he came to a rest in the frontstretch grass.

Among those who failed to advance out of the first round were A.J. Allmendinger, Austin Dillon, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Ragan.

Cla # Driver 4506 Time Gap Mph
1 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 26.932   200.505
2 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 26.969 0.037 200.230
3 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 27.008 0.076 199.941
4 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 27.030 0.098 199.778
5 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 27.064 0.132 199.527
6 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 27.101 0.169 199.255
7 41 United States Kurt Busch  Ford 27.105 0.173 199.225
8 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 27.124 0.192 199.086
9 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 27.126 0.194 199.071
10 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 27.176 0.244 198.705
11 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 27.279 0.347 197.954
12 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 27.293 0.361 197.853
13 78 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 27.278 0.346 197.962
14 31 United States Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 27.283 0.351 197.925
15 6 United States Trevor Bayne  Ford 27.312 0.380 197.715
16 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 27.316 0.384 197.686
17 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 27.329 0.397 197.592
18 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 27.336 0.404 197.542
19 19 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 27.356 0.424 197.397
20 1 United States Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 27.358 0.426 197.383
21 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 27.399 0.467 197.087
22 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 27.437 0.505 196.815
23 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 27.449 0.517 196.728
24 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 27.479 0.547 196.514
25 47 United States A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 27.550 0.618 196.007
26 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 27.646 0.714 195.327
27 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 27.661 0.729 195.221
28 95 United States Regan Smith  Chevrolet 27.728 0.796 194.749
29 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 27.767 0.835 194.475
30 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 27.778 0.846 194.398
31 32 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 28.066 1.134 192.404
32 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 28.148 1.216 191.843
33 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 28.228 1.296 191.299
34 96 United States Parker Kligerman  Toyota 28.256 1.324 191.110
35 23 United States J.J. Yeley  Toyota 28.381 1.449 190.268
36 99 United States Kyle Weatherman  Chevrolet 28.538 1.606 189.221
37 72 United States Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 28.598 1.666 188.824
38 7 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 28.785 1.853 187.598
39 51 United States Joey Gase  Ford 29.496 2.564 183.076
40 97 United States David Starr  Toyota 29.784 2.852 181.305

Take a virtual lap around Texas Motor Speedway with NASCAR Heat 3:

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Texas II
Drivers Ryan Blaney
Teams Team Penske
Author Jim Utter
Article type Qualifying report