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Chase Elliott Sets Track Record In Dover Qualifying

Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway
Friday, May 3, 2019

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Chase Elliott wins the pole at Dover
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

In a battle of Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Chase Elliott knocked William Byron off the pole for Sunday’s Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway, stealing the top starting spot late in Friday’s single-car qualifying at the one-mile concrete track. 

As expected with a new competition package that features a taller rear spoiler and consequent added downforce, Elliott set a track record at the Monster Mile, covering the distance in 21.692 seconds (165.960 mph) to eclipse Brad Keselowski’s 2014 track record mark of 21.892 seconds (164.444 mph). 

In winning his first Busch Pole Award at Dover, his second of the season and the sixth of his career, Elliott was .053 seconds faster than Byron (165.555 mph), whose time stood up until Elliott, who drew the 30th qualifying position, ran his pole-winning lap. 

Grabbing the top spot on the grid only added to an excellent week for Elliott, who claimed his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. 

"Team Hendrick is 1-2, which is awesome," Elliott said. "Thanks to Chevrolet power and everybody that contributes to our car—they’ve been working hard. Hopefully, we can back it up on Sunday. 

"It’s going to be a really tough race, so you better eat your Wheaties these next couple days and hydrate, because I think Sunday is going to be tough, especially if the sun’s out like it is right now." 

In fact, the sun made a huge difference in the speeds the Cup cars ran during qualifying. True, the top five qualifiers (Elliott, Byron, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Alex Bowman) all broke Keselowski’s previous track record, as Chevrolets swept the top three starting spots and four of the top five. 

That was a far cry, however, from opening practice on Friday morning, when 23 cars eclipsed the record and Kurt Busch topped the speed chart at 168.445 mph in cooler conditions under overcast skies. 

Elliott was more concerned about the pick of the No. 1 pit stall, closest to the exit from pit road. At Dover, that’s a distinct advantage.  

"I think track position’s going to be key, and hopefully we can use it to our advantage," Elliott said. 

Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola qualified sixth and seventh, respectively, as NASCAR returned to the single-car format versus the group qualifying structure used earlier this year. 

Denny Hamlin was eighth in the fastest Toyota, and Keselowski and Clint Bowyer completed the top 10 in their Fords, giving that manufacturer five of the top 10 starting spots.

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Pos # Driver Sponsor/Make Lap Speed
1 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Brakes Chevrolet 21.692 165.96
2 24 William Byron Axalta Chevrolet 21.745 165.555
3 42 Kyle Larson Credit One Bank Chevrolet 21.757 165.464
4 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 21.855 164.722
5 88 Alex Bowman Nationwide Small Business Chevrolet 21.857 164.707
6 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's Ford 21.907 164.331
7 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 21.918 164.249
8 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota 21.931 164.151
9 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 21.936 164.114
10 14 Clint Bowyer Mobil 1 Ford 21.949 164.017
11 12 Ryan Blaney Menards/Duracell Ford 22.008 163.577
12 48 Jimmie Johnson Ally Chevrolet 22.039 163.347
13 19 Martin Truex Jr. SiriusXM Toyota 22.055 163.228
14 41 Daniel Suarez Haas Automation Ford 22.073 163.095
15 20 Erik Jones Sport Clips Toyota 22.086 162.999
16 3 Austin Dillon AAA Chevrolet 22.09 162.97
17 95 Matt DiBenedetto FDNY Foundation Toyota 22.108 162.837
18 21 Paul Menard Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 22.136 162.631
19 1 Kurt Busch Monster Energy Chevrolet 22.14 162.602
20 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Little Hug Ford 22.152 162.514
21 6 Ryan Newman Wyndham Rewards Ford 22.176 162.338
22 18 Kyle Busch Pedigree Toyota 22.233 161.921
23 8 Daniel Hemric
Caterpillar Chevrolet 22.267 161.674
24 38 David Ragan MDS Transport Ford 22.317 161.312
25 13 Ty Dillon Twisted Tea Chevrolet 22.325 161.254
26 34 Michael McDowell Dockside Logistics Ford 22.326 161.247
27 43 Bubba Wallace World Wide Technology Chevrolet 22.419 160.578
28 32 Corey LaJoie CorvetteParts.net Ford 22.572 159.49
29 47 Ryan Preece
Kroger Chevrolet 22.698 158.604
30 37 Chris Buescher Degree Chevrolet 22.829 157.694
31 0 Landon Cassill KODRA Communications Chevrolet 22.948 156.876
32 36 Matt Tifft
Surface Sunscreen/Tunity Ford 23.132 155.629
33 51 Cody Ware Jacob Companies Ford 23.369 154.05
34 52 BJ McLeod RWR Chevrolet 23.384 153.951
35 77 Quin Houff Chevrolet 23.465 153.42
36 15 Ross Chastain Low T Center Chevrolet 0 0
37 27 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 0 0


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