CUP: Blaney Claims First Career Pole At Kansas

Rence Brown Cup, Featured, NASCAR 0 Comments

Ryan Blaney wins his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole at Kansas Speedway. (Jeremy Thompson photo).

KANSAS CITY– After being so close so many times in his young Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career, 23 year old Ryan Blaney wins his first career pole award ahead of Saturday nights GoBowling 400 from the Kansas Speedway, the very sight as his first career Cup series start in 2014.

Blaney, who has shown speed early this season wins the pole in his No.21 Motorcraft/Quicklane Service Ford with a time of 28.481 (189.600 mph). He has also locked himself into The Clash at Daytona in 2018. This is also the Wood Brothers first pole since Talladega, 2004 with Ricky Rudd.

Young Blaney has shown speed all throughout the season, with a runner up finish in the Daytona 500 in February and led 148 laps at Texas Motor Speedway late last month, he feels he has a good chance to be a contender Saturday evening.

“It feels really good.” Blaney said. “We got better and better each round and that’s all you can ask for. Honestly, I didn’t think I got through that lap all that great, I felt like we had a pretty decent time but it was enough for it. To qualify second three times this year, it was kinda getting old. We’ve been working really hard at it and we’ve been getting really close and that’s something we really wanted to do. Qualifying is not my best suit but it means a lot. Like I said, we’ve been getting better and better and that’s all that we can ask for, that speaks a lot for this team.”

“I felt like we were really good in race trim in practice. Obviously we had speed in qualifying trim. So hopefully we will stay out of trouble. It’s been a rough three weeks in the finish column and hopefully we can turn it around at a place that has always been pretty good to us. So hopefully we can stay out of trouble for 400 miles tomorrow night, you never know what can happen.”

Qualifying in the second position is two time Kansas Speedway winner and fellow Ford driver, Joey Logano. The Team Penske driver landed a lap of 28.490 (189.540 mph). All the while, Lognao and the No.22 Shell/Penzoil team are without crew chief Todd Gordon, who is serving his suspension after failing post race inspection at Richmond last month.

“You get used to a routine, we’re all creatures of habit and we have a routine that we do for almost 38 weekends a year.” Logano said. “You have practice, you go to the trailer, you talk about things and all of that. It’s a lot more challenging in the way that we have to do things to try to break the communication barrier. You know, trying to make the right decisions to our car and especially on a day like today, that wasn’t an easy day for us, to be able to make the right adjustments to this car is a credit to the whole team to give me something to have a shot at the pole with. Hopefully we can hold onto our track position and win another one here.”

Starting third is always fast Martin Truex Jr. (28.541/ 189.201 mph) who won at Kansas Speedway’s sister track in Chicagoland last year, fourth is last week’s winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr (28.594/ 188.851 mph) and rounding out the top five is the defending champion of this race, Kyle Busch (28.648/ 188.495 mph)

Other notables inside the top 10 include, 2017 Daytona 500 champion Kurt Busch in seventh, current Cup series points leader Kyle Larson in ninth. Chase Elliott qualifies in the tenth position and Jamie McMurray in P12.

Qualifying got off to a rocky start as many drivers never even made it out of the garage area to complete a lap time. Some notable teams including that of the No.48 of Jimmie Johnson (P.29), No.88 of Dale Earnhardt Jr (P.33) and hometown favorite the No.14 of Clint Bowyer (P.30) all failed the Laser Inspection Station more than once and will find themselves in the back of the field when the green flag flies on Saturday evening.

Qualifying Results


RESULTS: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; Coors Light Pole Qualifying; Kansas Speedway; May 12, 2017

1. Ryan Blaney
2. Joey Lognao
3. Martin Truex Jr.
4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
5. Kyle Busch
6. Kurt Busch
7. Denny Hamlin
8. Kevin Harvick
9. Kyle Larson
10. Chase Elliott
11. Austin Dillon
12. Jamie McMurray
13. Aric Almirola
14. Matt Kenseth
15. Daniel Suarez
16. Trevor Bayne
17. Brad Keselowski
18. Paul Menard
19. Ryan Newman
20. Chris Buescher
21. AJ Allmendinger
22. Ty Dillon
23. Matt DiBenedetto
24. Danica Patrick
25. Gray Gaulding
26. Cole Whitt
27. Jeffrey Earnhardt
28. Derrike Cope
29. Jimmie Johnson
30. Clint Bowyer
31. Kasey Kahne
32. Erik Jones
33. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
34. David Ragan
35. Michael McDowell
36.Landon Cassill
37.Reed Sorenson
38.Corey LaJoie
39.Timmy Hill
40.Carl Long

The green flag for Saturday night’s Go Bowling 400 will be shortly after 7:30 pm ET (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM).

About the Writer

Rence BrownRence Brown is Race Chaser Online’s West Coast-based correspondent, who currently resides in California and carries a deep passion for NASCAR, but is a follower of multiple forms of auto racing across multiple disciplines.

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