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Austin Dillon claims Auto Club 400 Pole

Austin Dillon Las Vegas 2018 pre race
Austin Dillon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in September 2018. Photo: Chris Madrid | The Racing Experts

FONTANA, Calif. — Austin Dillon scored the Busch Pole Award in Friday’s qualifying session at Auto Club Speedway. Dillon posted a lap of 39.982 seconds in Round 2 of qualifying to win the Pole at the 2-mile oval located in Southern California.

Ryan Blaney will start second followed by Joey Logano in third and Kevin Harvick in fourth. Kyle Busch will roll off from the fifth starting position.

Martin Truex Jr., the most recent victor at the speedway, will start 27th.

All 38 cars entered will compete in Sunday’s race.

The caution flag waved with about 8 minutes remaining in Round 1 for a spin by Chase Elliott. Elliott appeared to get loose off of Turn 2 and escaped without major damage to the Napa Chevrolet.

Austin Dillon was quickest in both rounds of qualifying. Martin Truex Jr. did not advance out of Round 1.

At the beginning of Round 2, everyone but Kurt Busch waited until 1 minute remained in the qualifying session to begin their qualifying lap. Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, Kurt Busch, and Daniel Suarez were among those who failed to advance out of Round 2 of knock-out qualifying.

The same exact situation occurred again at the beginning of Round 3, with the exception that no cars made it back to the flag in time for their lap to the count. As a result, the field will line up by the fastest time in Round 2.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 Starting Lineup

Saturday (March 16) will feature second and final practice for NASCAR’s premier series. Dillon will lead the field to the green flag in the Auto Club 400 Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EST (FOX, MRN).

Matt Courson View All

Matt Courson is the Managing Editor for The Racing Experts. Courson has covered NASCAR events at 19 of the 23 active racetracks. When not at the track, the 20-year-old Journalism major enjoys spending time with family and playing Ingress.

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