Truex Jr. Wins Pole, Jones Qualifies 7th at Kansas Speedway
October 20, 2017
NASCAR Cup Series point leader Martin Truex Jr. earned the pole position and his Furniture Row Racing teammate Erik Jones qualified seventh for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Truex and the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota lapped the 1.5-mile oval Friday evening in 28.719 seconds at 188.029 mph. It was the third pole position of the season for Truex and his 15th in NASCAR’s premier series. He will line up on the front row next to Kevin Harvick.
The pole position also added an extra bonus for Truex, who is already locked into the Round of 8 playoffs, which starts next week at the tricky half-mile Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Since Martinsville is a two-day show with qualifying on race day, the Kansas qualifying position also determines the pit stall selection at Martinsville.
“Having the first pit stall at Martinsville is huge,” said Truex. "I would say it’s probably the biggest advantage of any track we go to. We’ve already been working hard on Martinsville and that’s certainly going to help us. Just really proud of everybody. Great execution all day making right adjustments and right calls in qualifying. I had to step it up there, I’m shaking a little bit after that last run — it was pretty wild.”
Jones’ pole-shootout lap in the No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength Toyota was 28.921 at 186.716. He will line up on the inside of Row 4 next to Kyle Busch.
“We were OK in Turns 1 and 2 but just couldn’t find the speed in Turns 3 and 4 in our 5-hour ENERGY Toyota,” said Jones. “To start seventh isn’t bad. We can race from there, hopefully stay up front to make some adjustments and race in some clean air. It’s a lot better than where we started here back in May (33rd) so hopefully we’ll be just fine.”
The balance of the top-12 qualifiers were Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Jones, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski and Austin Dillon.
Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 will air live beginning at 1 p.m. MT (3 p.m. ET) on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and MRN.