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Aric Almirola wins Busch Pole at Atlanta

first since 2012
Friday, February 22, 2019


Aric Almirola on pole
Aric Almirola on pole
Aric Almirola topped the leaderboard at 181.473 mph in the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford on Friday, winning the Busch Pole Award for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

This is Almirola’s first pole at Atlanta, and the second of his career — the first came in 2012.

Right behind the No. 10 Ford was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford at 180.428 mph.

Rounding out the top five in qualifying were Clint Bowyer in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford (180.410 mph), after leading the first two rounds of qualifying, Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (180.328 mph) and Daniel Suarez in the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford (180.216 mph).

For Almirola, he made 234 Monster Energy Series starts between his pole awards. That ranks as six-longest stretch of all time, behind Michael Waltrip (456), Paul Menard (358), David Gilliland (259), Mark Martin (256) and Kevin Harvick (254).

The final practice session for the Monster Energy Series is Saturday at 12 p.m. ET on FS1.

Two car chiefs ejected

Two car chiefs have been ejected from Atlanta Motor Speedway after their teams’ respective cars failed pre-qualifying inspection multiple times.

The No. 36 Front Row Motorsports Ford of driver Matt Tifft and No. 52 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet of driver BJ McLeod failed inspection multiple times Friday prior to three rounds of Busch Pole qualifying. Their car chiefs — Brandon Lee (36) and Mike Chance (52), respectively — won’t be able to return to the garage during the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend.

Previously, a car chief was not ejected unless a team failed inspection three times. Under NASCAR’s 2019 deterrence model, two failures lead to a car chief ejection.

Last month NASCAR introduced a system where race-winning teams found in violation of the rule book post-race would be disqualified. Additionally, post-race inspection is done at track following the event, with penalties -- if any-- handed out then instead of following a mid-week teardown at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina.

Starting Lineup

110Aric AlmirolaFord30.550LEADER181.473
217Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Ford30.727-0.177180.428
314Clint BowyerFord30.730-0.180180.410
411Denny HamlinToyota30.744-0.194180.328
541Daniel SuarezFord30.763-0.213180.216
618Kyle BuschToyota30.810-0.260179.942
742Kyle LarsonChevy30.827-0.277179.842
81Kurt BuschChevy30.835-0.285179.796
919Martin Truex Jr.Toyota30.852-0.302179.697
103Austin DillonChevy30.869-0.319179.598
1148Jimmie JohnsonChevy30.900-0.350179.417
1234Michael McDowellFord30.915-0.365179.330
136Ryan NewmanFord30.906-0.356179.383
1421Paul MenardFord30.908-0.358179.371
1520Erik JonesToyota30.929-0.379179.249
1688Alex BowmanChevy30.952-0.402179.116
1724William ByronChevy30.979-0.429178.960
184Kevin HarvickFord30.991-0.441178.891
192Brad KeselowskiFord30.998-0.448178.850
2095Matt DiBenedettoToyota31.029-0.479178.672
2113Ty DillonChevy31.048-0.498178.562
229Chase ElliottChevy31.061-0.511178.487
2338David RaganFord31.111-0.561178.201
2432Corey LajoieFord31.148-0.598177.989
2547Ryan PreeceChevy31.097-0.547178.281
2612Ryan BlaneyFord31.119-0.569178.155
2722Joey LoganoFord31.145-0.595178.006
288Daniel HemricChevy31.156-0.606177.943
2943Bubba WallaceChevy31.196-0.646177.715
3037Chris BuescherChevy31.323-0.773176.995
3136Matt TifftFord31.376-0.826176.696
3215Ross ChastainChevy31.502-0.952175.989
3300Landon CassillChevy31.512-0.962175.933
3496Parker KligermanToyota31.534-0.984175.810
3577Garrett SmithleyChevy32.598-2.048170.072
3651Cody WareFord32.950-2.400168.255
3752Bj McleodChevy0.00030.5500.000

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