Austin Dillon Wins the Pole at Auto Club Sppedway at a Strange Qualifying Session

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FONTANA, CA – RIS – On a beautiful but windy day at Auto Club Speedway, fans witnessed one of the stranger qualifying days in the  history of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.  All the drivers were waiting to run their final lap in the third round of qualifying and no one wanted to be the first, the line. With the new system of qualifying, drivers can be on the track in close proximity, and they like to use that to their advantage to gain a draft.

But in hopes of getting a draft, no one wanted to get off the line, and by the time they started to try to make their runs with less than a minute on the clock, they were too late.

No one made it to the line to start an official run and Austin Dillon won by virtue of the fact he posted the fastest time in the second round.

Kevin Harvick will start second Sunday, followed by Aric Almirola and Kyle Busch.

Trying to improve safety and reduce the likelihood of crashes on pit road, NASCAR mandated this week that all drivers must observe pit road speed in qualifying – which made getting out on track at the right time even trickier. Due to the overwhelming importance of the draft during qualifying in 2019, no driver wants to be the first car on track. The field typically bunches up at the end of pit road until the last possible second and attempts to line up with their teammates and drafting partners.

Drivers and fans were none-to-happy with the result.  NASCAR will probably be seeking a solution to this problem soon, according to NASCAR officials.

Time Trial Results, 23rd Annual Auto Club 400, Auto Club Speedway

Qualifying Round: 1
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next
1) Austin Dillon, No. 3 Dow Coatings Chevrolet, 40.011 sec, 179.951 mph, 1, 1, 0.000, 0.000
2) Joey Logano, No. 22 AAA Southern California Ford, 40.108, 179.515, 1, 1, 0.097, 0.097
3) Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, 40.110, 179.506, 2, 2, 0.099, 0.002
4) Ryan Blaney, No. 12 PPG Ford, 40.117, 179.475, 1, 1, 0.106, 0.007
5) Aric Almirola, No. 10 Farmer John Ford, 40.122, 179.453, 1, 1, 0.111, 0.005
6) Chris Buescher, No. 37 Kroger Flavor Fill Up Chevrolet, 40.170, 179.238, 1, 1, 0.159, 0.048
7) Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 40.173, 179.225, 1, 1, 0.162, 0.003
8) William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet, 40.213, 179.047, 1, 1, 0.202, 0.040
9) Matt DiBenedetto, No. 95 Procore Toyota, 40.254, 178.864, 1, 1, 0.243, 0.041
10) Ryan Newman, No. 6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford, 40.273, 178.780, 1, 1, 0.262, 0.019
11) Daniel Hemric #, No. 8 Liberty National Chevrolet, 40.275, 178.771, 1, 1, 0.264, 0.002
12) Daniel Suarez, No. 41 Haas Automation Ford, 40.321, 178.567, 1, 1, 0.310, 0.046
13) Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford, 40.389, 178.266, 2, 2, 0.378, 0.068
14) Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Wurth Ford, 40.395, 178.240, 1, 1, 0.384, 0.006
15) Kyle Larson, No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, 40.408, 178.183, 2, 2, 0.397, 0.013
16) Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, 40.415, 178.152, 1, 1, 0.404, 0.007
17) Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 40.416, 178.147, 3, 3, 0.405, 0.001
18) Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, 40.436, 178.059, 1, 1, 0.425, 0.020
19) David Ragan, No. 38 MDS Trucking Ford, 40.436, 178.059, 1, 1, 0.425, 0.000
20) Kyle Busch, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, 40.482, 177.857, 1, 1, 0.471, 0.046
21) Erik Jones, No. 20 Craftsman Toyota, 40.491, 177.817, 2, 2, 0.480, 0.009
22) Alex Bowman, No. 88 Nationwide Pet Insurance Chevrolet, 40.502, 177.769, 2, 2, 0.491, 0.011
23) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 40.516, 177.708, 1, 1, 0.505, 0.014
24) Ty Dillon, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, 40.518, 177.699, 1, 3, 0.507, 0.002
25) Paul Menard, No. 21 Menards/MOEN Ford, 40.534, 177.629, 1, 3, 0.523, 0.016
26) Ryan Preece #, No. 47 Kroger Flavor Fill Up Chevrolet, 40.572, 177.462, 2, 2, 0.561, 0.038
27) Martin Truex Jr, No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, 40.580, 177.427, 1, 3, 0.569, 0.008
28) Bubba Wallace, No. 43 PlanBSales.com Chevrolet, 40.666, 177.052, 2, 2, 0.655, 0.086
29) Michael McDowell, No. 34 Loves's Travel Stops Ford, 40.874, 176.151, 1, 3, 0.863, 0.208
30) Corey LaJoie, No. 32 Hartford Gold Group Ford, 40.941, 175.863, 1, 1, 0.930, 0.067
31) Ross Chastain(i), No. 15 Southern California Chevy Dealers Chevrolet, 41.158, 174.936, 1, 1, 1.147, 0.217
32) Matt Tifft #, No. 36 Surface Sunscreen/Tunity Ford, 41.184, 174.825, 1, 3, 1.173, 0.026
33) Landon Cassill, No. 00 Manscaped Chevrolet, 41.400, 173.913, 3, 3, 1.389, 0.216
34) Cody Ware #, No. 51 Jacob Companies Chevrolet, 41.745, 172.476, 2, 2, 1.734, 0.345
35) Reed Sorenson, No. 27 RimRyderz Chevrolet, 42.442, 169.643, 1, 1, 2.431, 0.697
36) BJ McLeod(i), No. 52 Mtel-One Ford, 42.755, 168.401, 1, 1, 2.744, 0.313
37) Garrett Smithley(i), No. 77  Chevrolet, 42.806, 168.201, 1, 1, 2.795, 0.051
38) Joey Gase(i), No. 66 Nevada Donor Network Toyota, 43.519, 165.445, 1, 2, 3.508, 0.713

Qualifying Round: 2
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next
1) Austin Dillon, No. 3 Dow Coatings Chevrolet, 39.982 sec, 180.081 mph, 1, 1, 0.000, 0.000
2) Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 40.137, 179.386, 1, 1, 0.155, 0.155
3) Aric Almirola, No. 10 Farmer John Ford, 40.205, 179.082, 1, 1, 0.223, 0.068
4) Kyle Busch, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, 40.247, 178.895, 1, 1, 0.265, 0.042
5) Joey Logano, No. 22 AAA Southern California Ford, 40.248, 178.891, 1, 1, 0.266, 0.001
6) Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, 40.312, 178.607, 1, 1, 0.330, 0.064
7) Ryan Newman, No. 6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford, 40.334, 178.509, 1, 1, 0.352, 0.022
8) Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, 40.356, 178.412, 1, 1, 0.374, 0.022
9) Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford, 40.368, 178.359, 1, 1, 0.386, 0.012
10) Ryan Blaney, No. 12 PPG Ford, 40.378, 178.315, 1, 1, 0.396, 0.010
11) Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 40.380, 178.306, 1, 1, 0.398, 0.002
12) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 40.405, 178.196, 1, 1, 0.423, 0.025
13) Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Wurth Ford, 40.448, 178.006, 1, 1, 0.466, 0.043
14) Chris Buescher, No. 37 Kroger Flavor Fill Up Chevrolet, 40.491, 177.817, 1, 1, 0.509, 0.043
15) Kyle Larson, No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, 40.505, 177.756, 1, 1, 0.523, 0.014
16) Ty Dillon, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, 40.523, 177.677, 1, 1, 0.541, 0.018
17) Daniel Hemric #, No. 8 Liberty National Chevrolet, 40.545, 177.580, 1, 1, 0.563, 0.022
18) Erik Jones, No. 20 Craftsman Toyota, 40.590, 177.384, 1, 1, 0.608, 0.045
19) David Ragan, No. 38 MDS Trucking Ford, 40.613, 177.283, 1, 1, 0.631, 0.023
20) Daniel Suarez, No. 41 Haas Automation Ford, 40.620, 177.253, 1, 1, 0.638, 0.007
21) Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, 40.644, 177.148, 1, 1, 0.662, 0.024
22) William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet, 40.733, 176.761, 1, 1, 0.751, 0.089
23) Alex Bowman, No. 88 Nationwide Pet Insurance Chevrolet, 41.141, 175.008, 1, 1, 1.159, 0.408
24) Matt DiBenedetto, No. 95 Procore Toyota, 41.497, 173.507, 1, 1, 1.515, 0.356
*Required to qualify on time, OP - Top 30 in Owner Points, PC - Past Champion,(i)Ineligible for driver points in this series

Qualifying Round: 3
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next
1) Austin Dillon, No. 3 Dow Coatings Chevrolet, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
2) Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
3) Aric Almirola, No. 10 Farmer John Ford, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
4) Kyle Busch, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
5) Joey Logano, No. 22 AAA Southern California Ford, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
6) Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
7) Ryan Newman, No. 6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
8) Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
9) Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
10) Ryan Blaney, No. 12 PPG Ford, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
11) Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
12) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 0.000, 0.000, 0, 0, -----, -----
*Required to qualify on time, OP - Top 30 in Owner Points, PC - Past Champion,(i)Ineligible for driver points in this series

Starting Lineup:
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next 
1) Austin Dillon, No. 3 Dow Coatings Chevrolet, 39.982 sec, 180.081 mph, 1, 1, 0.000, 0.000
2) Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 40.137, 179.386, 1, 1, 0.155, 0.155
3) Aric Almirola, No. 10 Farmer John Ford, 40.205, 179.082, 1, 1, 0.223, 0.068
4) Kyle Busch, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, 40.247, 178.895, 1, 1, 0.265, 0.042
5) Joey Logano, No. 22 AAA Southern California Ford, 40.248, 178.891, 1, 1, 0.266, 0.001
6) Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, 40.312, 178.607, 1, 1, 0.330, 0.064
7) Ryan Newman, No. 6 Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford, 40.334, 178.509, 1, 1, 0.352, 0.022
8) Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, 40.356, 178.412, 1, 1, 0.374, 0.022
9) Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford, 40.368, 178.359, 1, 1, 0.386, 0.012
10) Ryan Blaney, No. 12 PPG Ford, 40.378, 178.315, 1, 1, 0.396, 0.010
11) Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 40.380, 178.306, 1, 1, 0.398, 0.002
12) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 40.405, 178.196, 1, 1, 0.423, 0.025
13) Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Wurth Ford, 40.448, 178.006, 1, 1, 0.466, 0.043
14) Chris Buescher, No. 37 Kroger Flavor Fill Up Chevrolet, 40.491, 177.817, 1, 1, 0.509, 0.043
15) Kyle Larson, No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, 40.505, 177.756, 1, 1, 0.523, 0.014
16) Ty Dillon, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, 40.523, 177.677, 1, 1, 0.541, 0.018
17) Daniel Hemric #, No. 8 Liberty National Chevrolet, 40.545, 177.580, 1, 1, 0.563, 0.022
18) Erik Jones, No. 20 Craftsman Toyota, 40.590, 177.384, 1, 1, 0.608, 0.045
19) David Ragan, No. 38 MDS Trucking Ford, 40.613, 177.283, 1, 1, 0.631, 0.023
20) Daniel Suarez, No. 41 Haas Automation Ford, 40.620, 177.253, 1, 1, 0.638, 0.007
21) Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, 40.644, 177.148, 1, 1, 0.662, 0.024
22) William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet, 40.733, 176.761, 1, 1, 0.751, 0.089
23) Alex Bowman, No. 88 Nationwide Pet Insurance Chevrolet, 41.141, 175.008, 1, 1, 1.159, 0.408
24) Matt DiBenedetto, No. 95 Procore Toyota, 41.497, 173.507, 1, 1, 1.515, 0.356
25) Paul Menard, No. 21 Menards/MOEN Ford, 40.534, 177.629, 1, 3, 0.523, 0.016
26) Ryan Preece #, No. 47 Kroger Flavor Fill Up Chevrolet, 40.572, 177.462, 2, 2, 0.561, 0.038
27) Martin Truex Jr, No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, 40.580, 177.427, 1, 3, 0.569, 0.008
28) Bubba Wallace, No. 43 PlanBSales.com Chevrolet, 40.666, 177.052, 2, 2, 0.655, 0.086
29) Michael McDowell, No. 34 Loves's Travel Stops Ford, 40.874, 176.151, 1, 3, 0.863, 0.208
30) Corey LaJoie, No. 32 Hartford Gold Group Ford, 40.941, 175.863, 1, 1, 0.930, 0.067
31) Ross Chastain(i), No. 15 Southern California Chevy Dealers Chevrolet, 41.158, 174.936, 1, 1, 1.147, 0.217
32) Matt Tifft #, No. 36 Surface Sunscreen/Tunity Ford, 41.184, 174.825, 1, 3, 1.173, 0.026
33) Landon Cassill, No. 00 Manscaped Chevrolet, 41.400, 173.913, 3, 3, 1.389, 0.216
34) Cody Ware #, No. 51 Jacob Companies Chevrolet, 41.745, 172.476, 2, 2, 1.734, 0.345
35) Reed Sorenson, No. 27 RimRyderz Chevrolet, 42.442, 169.643, 1, 1, 2.431, 0.697
36) BJ McLeod(i), No. 52 Mtel-One Ford, 42.755, 168.401, 1, 1, 2.744, 0.313
37) Garrett Smithley(i), No. 77  Chevrolet, 42.806, 168.201, 1, 1, 2.795, 0.051
38) Joey Gase(i), No. 66 Nevada Donor Network Toyota, 43.519, 165.445, 1, 2, 3.508, 0.

 

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 2019, Issue 3, Posted 8:26 PM, 03.15.2019