Truex Captures Kansas Pole

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

KANSAS CITY, KS – RIS – Martin Truex, Jr. is one again fastest at a 1.5-mile track.  This time it’s Kansas Speedway where the Monster Energy Monster Energy Cup race will be held on Sunday.  Truex qualified best and won the pole for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 on Friday, his third time doing so this season. Following him in second was Kevin Harvick (who won this race last year), then Ryan Blaney, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin. Qualifying is extra important this week because it also goes toward determining pit stall selection for next weekend’s race at Martinsville, Virginia.

Truex had already locked up his spot in the next round of NASCAR’s playoffs with an earlier win this season.

 “We race one week at a time, try to do the best job we can, but we knew this was a big one tonight,” said Truex, whose victory at Charlotte punched his ticket to the round of eight. “Just proud of everybody for making the right adjustments, the right calls.”

Truex has dominated at Kansas Speedway for years, only for bad luck to conspire against him. But he broke through with a victory in May, and that’s kicked off a dominant stretch at intermediate tracks that has included a run of three consecutive wins at mile-and-a-half ovals.

Truex was followed by playoff contenders Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin for Sunday’s race at Kansas. Kyle Busch will roll off eighth after barely escaping the first round of qualifying, while Jamie McMurray will start ninth and Brad Keselowski will start 11th after winning last week at Talladega to punch his ticket to the next round.

Jimmie Johnson, who is seven points ahead of Busch for the final spot in the next round, will start 13th. Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott were right behind him, while Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will start 25th after failing to advance from the first round.

“The thing I’m looking at is progression through the rounds, what we picked up from practice, and that was trending the right way,” said Johnson, who missed the final qualifying round by a mere two-hundredths of a second. “We’re starting closer to the front than we have in quite a few weeks. Qualifying we know isn’t my sweet spot and I’m trying so hard to get better at that.”

Several drivers were tip-towing it around Kansas Speedway with wind whipping up to 35 mph, and Harvick said a bobble caused by a bad gust may have cost him the pole.

“That thing was different every time we went into the corner, probably because of the wind,” he said. “The back stepped out and next thing I knew I was up a lane, but good knowing what’s on the line with pit selection (at Martinsville) and what we have to do this week.”

Starting Line Up: 17th Annual Hollywood Casino 400 Kansas Speedway

Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed
1) Martin Truex Jr. (P), No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, 28.719, 188.029
2) Kevin Harvick (P), No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 28.772, 187.682
3) Ryan Blaney (P), No. 21 Omnicraft Auto Parts Ford, 28.782, 187.617
4) Matt Kenseth (P), No. 20 DeWalt Flexvolt Toyota, 28.784, 187.604
5) Denny Hamlin (P), No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, 28.806, 187.461
6) Daniel Suarez #, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, 28.891, 186.909
7) Erik Jones #, No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength Toyota, 28.921, 186.716
8) Kyle Busch (P), No. 18 M&M's Halloween Toyota, 28.981, 186.329
9) Jamie McMurray (P), No. 1 Cessna Chevrolet, 29.089, 185.637
10) Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford, 29.095, 185.599
11) Brad Keselowski (P), No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, 29.213, 184.849
12) Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOW Chevrolet, 29.333, 184.093
13) Jimmie Johnson (P), No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, 29.039, 185.957
14) Kyle Larson (P), No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, 29.051, 185.880
15) Chase Elliott (P), No. 24 NAPA Chevrolet, 29.069, 185.765
16) Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford, 29.146, 185.274
17) Michael McDowell, No. 95 TWD Chevrolet, 29.160, 185.185
18) Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 29.193, 184.976
19) Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, 29.194, 184.970
20) Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet, 29.217, 184.824
21) Chris Buescher, No. 37 Scott Towels Chevrolet, 29.240, 184.679
22) Kasey Kahne, No. 5 UniFirst Chevrolet, 29.263, 184.533
23) Danica Patrick, No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford, 29.269, 184.496
24) Paul Menard, No. 27 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, 29.314, 184.212
25) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (P), No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 29.421, 183.542
26) Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford, 29.429, 183.492
27) AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Kroger ClickLIst Chevrolet, 29.553, 182.723
28) David Ragan, No. 38 TheHouse.com Ford, 29.656, 182.088
29) Trevor Bayne, No. 6 AdvoCare Ford, 29.660, 182.063
30) Ty Dillon #, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, 29.682, 181.928
31) Matt DiBenedetto, No. 32 Can-Am/Kappa Ford, 29.698, 181.830
32) Landon Cassill, No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford, 30.143, 179.146
33) Brett Moffitt(i), No. 83 Earthwater Toyota, 30.149, 179.110
34) Gray Gaulding #, No. 55 Harrah's North Kansas City Toyota, 30.225, 178.660
35) Corey LaJoie #, No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota, 30.235, 178.601
36) Cole Whitt, No. 72 TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet, 30.245, 178.542
37) BJ McLeod(i), No. 51 Spoonful of Music Foundation Chevrolet, 30.394, 177.667
38) Reed Sorenson, No. 15 Low T Centers Chevrolet, 30.445, 177.369
39) Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 33 hulu Chevrolet, 30.530, 176.875
40) Derrike Cope, No. 00 StarCom Fiber Chevrolet, 0.000, 0.000
 (i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie, (P) Playoffs driver

Time Trial Results: 17th Annual Hollywood Casino 400, Kansas Speedway

Qualifying Round 1
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next
1) Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford, 28.980, 186.335, 1, 1, 0.000, 0.000
2) Danica Patrick, No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford, 28.985, 186.303, 1, 1, 0.005, 0.005
3) Martin Truex Jr. (P), No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, 29.041, 185.944, 1, 1, 0.061, 0.056
4) Denny Hamlin (P), No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, 29.057, 185.842, 1, 1, 0.077, 0.016
5) Matt Kenseth (P), No. 20 DeWalt Flexvolt Toyota, 29.061, 185.816, 1, 1, 0.081, 0.004
6) Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet, 29.063, 185.803, 1, 1, 0.083, 0.002
7) Jamie McMurray (P), No. 1 Cessna Chevrolet, 29.071, 185.752, 1, 1, 0.091, 0.008
8) Kevin Harvick (P), No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 29.089, 185.637, 1, 1, 0.109, 0.018
9) Ryan Blaney (P), No. 21 Omnicraft Auto Parts Ford, 29.103, 185.548, 1, 1, 0.123, 0.014
10) Erik Jones #, No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength Toyota, 29.137, 185.331, 1, 1, 0.157, 0.034
11) Daniel Suarez #, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, 29.151, 185.242, 1, 1, 0.171, 0.014
12) Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOW Chevrolet, 29.164, 185.160, 3, 3, 0.184, 0.013
13) Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, 29.194, 184.970, 1, 1, 0.214, 0.030
14) Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford, 29.202, 184.919, 1, 1, 0.222, 0.008
15) Jimmie Johnson (P), No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, 29.207, 184.887, 1, 1, 0.227, 0.005
16) Chase Elliott (P), No. 24 NAPA Chevrolet, 29.214, 184.843, 1, 1, 0.234, 0.007
17) Brad Keselowski (P), No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, 29.229, 184.748, 3, 3, 0.249, 0.015
18) Michael McDowell, No. 95 TWD Chevrolet, 29.280, 184.426, 1, 1, 0.300, 0.051
19) Kyle Larson (P), No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, 29.286, 184.388, 1, 1, 0.306, 0.006
20) Kasey Kahne, No. 5 UniFirst Chevrolet, 29.292, 184.351, 1, 1, 0.312, 0.006
21) Chris Buescher, No. 37 Scott Towels Chevrolet, 29.311, 184.231, 1, 1, 0.331, 0.019
22) Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 29.314, 184.212, 3, 3, 0.334, 0.003
23) Kyle Busch (P), No. 18 M&M's Halloween Toyota, 29.329, 184.118, 1, 1, 0.349, 0.015
24) Paul Menard, No. 27 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, 29.384, 183.773, 1, 3, 0.404, 0.055
25) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 29.421, 183.542, 3, 3, 0.441, 0.037
26) Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford, 29.429, 183.492, 1, 1, 0.449, 0.008
27) AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Kroger ClickLIst Chevrolet, 29.553, 182.723, 1, 3, 0.573, 0.124
28) David Ragan, No. 38 TheHouse.com Ford, 29.656, 182.088, 1, 3, 0.676, 0.103
29) Trevor Bayne, No. 6 AdvoCare Ford, 29.660, 182.063, 1, 3, 0.680, 0.004
30) Ty Dillon #, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, 29.682, 181.928, 1, 3, 0.702, 0.022
31) Matt DiBenedetto, No. 32 Can-Am/Kappa Ford, 29.698, 181.830, 1, 1, 0.718, 0.016
32) Landon Cassill, No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford, 30.143, 179.146, 3, 3, 1.163, 0.445
33) Brett Moffitt(i), No. *83 Earthwater Toyota, 30.149, 179.110, 3, 3, 1.169, 0.006
34) Gray Gaulding #, No. *55 Harrah's North Kansas City Toyota, 30.225, 178.660, 1, 1, 1.245, 0.076
35) Corey LaJoie #, No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota, 30.235, 178.601, 1, 1, 1.255, 0.010
36) Cole Whitt, No. 72 TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet, 30.245, 178.542, 3, 3, 1.265, 0.010
37) BJ McLeod(i), No. *51 Spoonful of Music Foundation Chevrolet, 30.394, 177.667, 2, 2, 1.414, 0.149
38) Reed Sorenson, No. 15 Low T Centers Chevrolet, 30.445, 177.369, 1, 1, 1.465, 0.051
39) Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 33 hulu Chevrolet, 30.530, 176.875, 3, 3, 1.550, 0.085
40) Derrike Cope, No. *00 StarCom Fiber Chevrolet, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----

Qualifying Round: 2
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next
1) Kevin Harvick (P), No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 28.795, 187.533, 1, 1, 0.000, 0.000
2) Brad Keselowski (P), No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, 28.811, 187.428, 1, 1, 0.016, 0.016
3) Martin Truex Jr. (P), No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, 28.824, 187.344, 1, 1, 0.029, 0.013
4) Ryan Blaney (P), No. 21 Omnicraft Auto Parts Ford, 28.836, 187.266, 1, 1, 0.041, 0.012
5) Matt Kenseth (P), No. 20 DeWalt Flexvolt Toyota, 28.850, 187.175, 1, 1, 0.055, 0.014
6) Kyle Busch (P), No. 18 M&M's Halloween Toyota, 28.898, 186.864, 1, 1, 0.103, 0.048
7) Denny Hamlin (P), No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, 28.953, 186.509, 1, 1, 0.158, 0.055
8) Daniel Suarez #, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, 28.963, 186.445, 1, 1, 0.168, 0.010
9) Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOW Chevrolet, 28.980, 186.335, 1, 1, 0.185, 0.017
10) Erik Jones #, No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength Toyota, 28.998, 186.220, 1, 1, 0.203, 0.018
11) Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford, 28.999, 186.213, 1, 1, 0.204, 0.001
12) Jamie McMurray (P), No. 1 Cessna Chevrolet, 29.019, 186.085, 1, 1, 0.224, 0.020
13) Jimmie Johnson (P), No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, 29.039, 185.957, 1, 1, 0.244, 0.020
14) Kyle Larson (P), No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, 29.051, 185.880, 1, 3, 0.256, 0.012
15) Chase Elliott (P), No. 24 NAPA Chevrolet, 29.069, 185.765, 1, 3, 0.274, 0.018
16) Kurt Busch, No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford, 29.146, 185.274, 1, 3, 0.351, 0.077
17) Michael McDowell, No. 95 TWD Chevrolet, 29.160, 185.185, 1, 1, 0.365, 0.014
18) Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 29.193, 184.976, 1, 1, 0.398, 0.033
19) Ryan Newman, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, 29.194, 184.970, 1, 1, 0.399, 0.001
20) Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet, 29.217, 184.824, 1, 3, 0.422, 0.023
21) Chris Buescher, No. 37 Scott Towels Chevrolet, 29.240, 184.679, 1, 1, 0.445, 0.023
22) Kasey Kahne, No. 5 UniFirst Chevrolet, 29.263, 184.533, 1, 3, 0.468, 0.023
23) Danica Patrick, No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford, 29.269, 184.496, 1, 1, 0.474, 0.006
24) Paul Menard, No. 27 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, 29.314, 184.212, 1, 1, 0.519, 0.045

Qualifying Round 3
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next
1) Martin Truex Jr. (P), No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, 28.719, 188.029, 1, 1, 0.000, 0.000
2) Kevin Harvick (P), No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 28.772, 187.682, 1, 1, 0.053, 0.053
3) Ryan Blaney (P), No. 21 Omnicraft Auto Parts Ford, 28.782, 187.617, 1, 1, 0.063, 0.010
4) Matt Kenseth (P), No. 20 DeWalt Flexvolt Toyota, 28.784, 187.604, 1, 1, 0.065, 0.002
5) Denny Hamlin (P), No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, 28.806, 187.461, 1, 1, 0.087, 0.022
6) Daniel Suarez #, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, 28.891, 186.909, 1, 1, 0.172, 0.085
7) Erik Jones #, No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength Toyota, 28.921, 186.716, 1, 1, 0.202, 0.030
8) Kyle Busch (P), No. 18 M&M's Halloween Toyota, 28.981, 186.329, 1, 1, 0.262, 0.060
9) Jamie McMurray (P), No. 1 Cessna Chevrolet, 29.089, 185.637, 1, 1, 0.370, 0.108
10) Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford, 29.095, 185.599, 1, 1, 0.376, 0.006
11) Brad Keselowski (P), No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, 29.213, 184.849, 1, 1, 0.494, 0.118
12) Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOW Chevrolet, 29.333, 184.093, 1, 1, 0.614, 0.120
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Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2017, Issue 10, Posted 8:58 PM, 10.20.2017