SPEEDWAY, IN. — Needing a win or solid points at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Daniel Suarez earned the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race.
Suarez earned his first Cup Series pole since 2019 at Kentucky. His only other pole was at Pocono in July 2018 and he has never won from the pole.
Suarez’s teammate, road course ringer Shane van Gisbergen, will start eighth. van Gisbergen’s Supercars competitor Brodie Kostecki qualified 11th.
Fellow ringers Kamui Kobayashi, Andy Lally, Jenson Button and Mike Rockenfeller qualified 28th 29th, 31st and 37th, respectively.
Daniel Suarez and Tyler Reddick will start on the front row with Chase Elliott and Michael McDowell in row two.
McDowell, Suarez and Elliott are all on the outside looking in for the playoffs with three races to go, including Indy. McDowell sits 17th in points (-3 points), while Suarez is 18th (-5) and Elliott is 22nd (-53).
They’re all chasing 16th-place Ty Gibbs who qualified 10th for Sunday. Alex Bowman, who sits 20th (-44), starts ninth.
A couple of bubble drivers surprised some people Saturday and not in a good way.
A.J. Allmendinger, who won this race in 2021 and sits 24 points out of a playoff spot, qualified 26th.
Austin Cindric, who finished second last year and sits 53 points out of a playoff spot, qualified 20th.
Meanwhile, Bubba Wallace, who has a 58-point cushion for his playoff spot but still needs three solid races to lock in, starts 19th.
The Verizon 200 at The Brickyard goes green just after 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, IMS Radio and SIRIUSXM NASCAR Radio. Tyler Reddick is the defending winner.