Almirola Earns Second Career Pole

After teammate Clint Bowyer led opening practice and the first two rounds of qualifying, Aric Almirola took the Busch Pole Award at the end of the day. It was his 2nd career pole and his first since 2012 when he was with Richard Petty Motorsports. Joining him on the front row is a fellow blue oval in Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who won the pole at Atlanta back in his rookie season in 2013.

Bowyer ended up qualifying 3rd after a near mishap to start the final round. When the track went green to start the 5-minute session, both the #14 of Bowyer and the #3 of Austin Dillon rolled off pit road. While Dillon was slowly picking up speed, Bowyer built his momentum early and intended to fly by. Normally, this wouldn’t have been an issue, but Dillon was either trying to block or didn’t know the #14 was coming as he pinched Bowyer next to the inside pit wall. Luckily, there was no incident. But a close call, nonetheless.

A notable appearance in the final round was Michael McDowell in his Front Row Motorsports Ford Mustang. At the end of the second round, he was ahead of many big names advancing including both Busch brothers. His speed didn’t hold in the final round though as McDowell qualified 12th. Each round eliminated a different FRM car; Matt Tifft was eliminated in Round 1 and qualified 31st and David Ragan qualified 23rd after being eliminated in Round 2.

Some more on Tifft, his car chief was ejected from the infield for the weekend after failing pre-qualifying inspection twice. The car chief of the #52 for B.J. McLeod was also ejected for the same reason. Both teams will also have 15 minutes deducted from the end of their final practice session.

Ford held 4 of the Top-5 qualifying positions but not all Fords were fast on Friday. All three Team Penske cars struggled to find speed, including Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney who were eliminated after the first Round. Brad Keselowski advanced but qualified back in 19th. Another Ford that experienced issues was Kevin Harvick. He had limited practice earlier in the day due to a power steering issue that lingered into qualifying and relegated him to an 18th qualifying position. The team is continuing to address and work on the issue.

The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will be on Sunday, February 24 at 2:00pm on FOX.

13210Aric AlmirolaFord30.550181.473
261817Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Ford30.727180.428
31114Clint BowyerFord30.730180.410
48811Denny HamlinToyota30.744180.328
521441Daniel SuarezFord30.763180.216
6101118Kyle BuschToyota30.810179.942
75442Kyle LarsonChevy30.827179.842
8771Kurt BuschChevy30.835179.796
9111719Martin Truex Jr.Toyota30.852179.697
10953Austin DillonChevy30.869179.598
11121048Jimmie JohnsonChevy30.900179.417
124934Michael McDowellFord30.915179.330
 1336Ryan NewmanFord30.906179.383
 142121Paul MenardFord30.908179.371
 15620Erik JonesToyota30.929179.249
 161688Alex BowmanChevy30.952179.116
 171224William ByronChevy30.979178.960
 18154Kevin HarvickFord30.991178.891
 19202Brad KeselowskiFord30.998178.850
 202295Matt DiBenedettoToyota31.029178.672
 211913Ty DillonChevy31.048178.562
 22239Chase ElliottChevy31.061178.487
 232438David RaganFord31.111178.201
 241332Corey LaJoieFord31.148177.989
  2547Ryan PreeceChevy31.097178.281
  2612Ryan BlaneyFord31.119178.155
  2722Joey LoganoFord31.145178.006
  288Daniel HemricChevy31.156177.943
  2943Bubba WallaceChevy31.196177.715
  3037Chris BuescherChevy31.323176.995
  3136Matt TifftFord31.376176.696
  3215Ross ChastainChevy31.502175.989
  3300Landon CassillChevy31.512175.933
  3496Parker KligermanToyota31.534175.810
  3577Garrett SmithleyChevy32.598170.072
  3651Cody WareFord32.950168.255
  3752BJ McLeodChevy0.0000.000

Author: Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey (@TomBaileyScoop) grew up in the backyard of Chicagoland Speedway, making a passion for all motorsports inevitable. Tom is entering his first full year of racing coverage in 2020 as the owner and founder of You can contact him at [email protected]

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