Defending race winner Chase Elliott couldn’t have asked for a better start to July 4 weekend at Road America.
Making up more than three tenths of a second over the final three corners at the 4.048-mile road course, Elliott narrowly edged a disappointed Chase Briscoe for the pole position for Sunday’s Kwik Trip 250 (3 p.m. ET on USA Network, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Running late in the final round of Saturday’s time trials, Elliott navigated the mammoth circuit in 134.427 seconds (108.407 mph) to knock Briscoe (108. 376 mph) off the provisional pole by .038 seconds.
“It was a little more fun than I thought it would be, for sure,” Elliott said of his lap, which exceeded his own expectations. “Hopefully, the results are the same tomorrow as they were last year—that’s what’s important…
“We’ll go to work and see if we can get it driving like it needs to tomorrow. I think it’s going to be really hard to pass, based on what I saw there in practice. Just want to keep track position as long as we can—that’s always a tough think at road courses—and manage that balance of what to do at what time.”
In winning the 11th Busch Pole Award of his career and his second this season, Elliott denied a frustrated Briscoe his second NASCAR Cup Series pole.
“I did a terrible job,” Briscoe said of his lap. “I was more sideways than straight. I feel like I gave up six-tenths easily in different corners. My team definitely deserves the pole, but the driver doesn’t deserve the pole. I have to clean that up.
“We should be really good for tomorrow, though. We have a really fast Ford, and I have to put it together. I was overdriving so bad. I’ve just got to slow down. I have to learn from that. I have a really good car, and that will be big for tomorrow. We’ll see if we can put it all together and get the driver to stop messing up.”
Kyle Larson qualified third at 108.210 mph, followed by Tyler Reddick at 108.155 mph. Austin Cindric, Michael McDowell, Chris Buescher, Alex Bowman, Joey hand and Cole Custer will start fifth through 10th, respectively.
Trackhouse Racing drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez, who won the first two road course races of the season at Circuit of the Americas and Sonoma Raceway, respectively, failed to make the final round. Chastain will start 12th on Sunday, with Suarez taking the green flag from the 17th spot.
Road course ace AJ Allmendinger qualified 21st in the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.
—- NASCAR News Wire —
See the complete qualifying results and the Kwik Trip 250 Starting Lineup.
See complete race information on the Road America Race Page.