NASCAR Championship Weekend Live-Cup Qualifying

Homestead Miami Speedway November 17, 2017

It’s Friday Night Lights at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Only it’s not football, the NASCAR Championship Weekend is officially underway. Stop with the hype, it’s time to settle things on the track. First up tonight is Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400.

Practice earlier today revealed what we already know. The Cup Finalists are fast. Kyle Busch(18) posted the top speed at 172.695. Second, Martin Truex Jr.(78) at 172.529. Who was third quickest? Kevin Harvick(4) ran 171.865. In what may be an indication of his fortunes for the weekend, Brad Keselowski(2) could only manage the 21st fastest speed at 168.919. That is 6/10ths of a second slower than Busch. At that rate, the Team Penske driver will go a lap down after just 50 circuits of the speedway.

Interesting numbers from the practice session. Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Daniel Suarez(19) ran 10th fastest. Dale Jr.(88) 14th, and Ryan Blaney(21) 20th. Joey Logano 26th and Danica Patrick 27th. Michael McDowell ran in the top 10 with the 8th fastest speed.

Qualifying Round 1

Jumble the order but the top of the speed chart looks very similar. Truex first, Kyle Busch second, slot Denny Hamlin(11) into third, and Kevin Harvick fourth. Keselowski’s crew found some speed and Brad sat ninth after round. Danica Patrick failed to advance in her last round by round qualifying session. Dale Jr. made it to Round 2.

Qualifying Round 2

Almost the same result in Round 2, Truex, Busch, and Hamlin. Matt Kenseth slipped into fourth with Harvick fifth. Other’s running for the pole Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(17), Kyle Larson(42), Kurt Busch(41), Ryan Blaney(21), Suarez, Trevor Bayne(6) and Keselowski just squeaking into the 12th spot. Brad drove it to the limit, almost clipping the wall out of turn four.

Denny Hamlin Wins the Pole

Still smarting from last weeks failure to advance Denny Hamlin drove to the front in the Final Round of qualifying. With a speed of 173.980, Hamlin sits next to Truex and ahead of Busch on the starting grid. Keselowski just kept getting better and starts from the fifth spot. Harvick takes the green in ninth.

The full starting field, Championship Drivers in Green

1. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 173.980 mph
2. (78) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 173.952 mph
3. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 173.930 mph
4. (20) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 172.678 mph
5. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 172.452 mph
6. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 172.359 mph
7. (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 172.205 mph
8. (41) Kurt Busch, Ford, 172.106 mph
9. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 171.876 mph
10. (19) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 171.789 mph
11. (21) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 171.789 mph
12. (6) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 171.124 mph

Eliminated in Round 2
13. (1) Jamie McMurry, Chevrolet, 172.403 mph
14. (77) Erik Jones, Toyota, 172.166 mph
15. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 172.155 mph
16. (14) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 171.652 mph
17. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 171.652 mph
18. (24) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 171.592 mph
19. (22) Joey Logano, Ford, 171.298 mph
20. (43) Aric Almirola, Ford, 171.206 mph
21. (31) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 170.913 mph
22. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 170.913 mph
23. (95) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 170.670 mph
24. (88) Dale Earnhardt. Jr., Chevrolet, 172.414 mph

Eliminated in Round 1
25. (10) Danica Patrick, Ford, 170.951 mph
26. (47) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 170.881 mph
27. (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 170.773 mph
28. (34) Landon Cassill, Ford, 170.713 mph
29. (37) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 170.632 mph
30. (38) David Ragan, Ford, 170.616 mph
31. (32) Matt Dibenedetto, Ford, 169.737 mph
32. (13) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 169.646 mph
33. (72) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 168.676 mph
34. (23) Corey Lajoie, Toyota, 167.177 mph
35. (83) Joey Gase, Toyota, 164.654 mph
36. (33) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 164.629 mph
37. (15) Reed Sorenson, Toyota, 163.651 mph
38. (66) David Starr, Chevrolet, 163.512 mph
39. (51) Ray Black II, Chevrolet, 158.777 mph


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