By: Pete Pistone – @PPistone | MRN.com on November 4, 2016 | 7:44 P.M. EST
Dillon turned a lap of 192.301 mph to capture his third career Sprint Cup Series pole. (Photo: Getty Images)
Austin Dillon earned the top spot for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The Richard Childress Racing driver turned a lap of 192.301 mph to capture his third career Sprint Cup Series pole
Dillon took his first career Texas pole with the run and will lead the field to green in the second race of the Round of 8.
“Man, that’s huge,” Dillon said after his run. “Great job to our Bad Boy Realtreee Chevy; everybody at Dow for supporting us and getting us this far. It is our second pole of the year, and I can’t be happier for RCR and everybody back at the shop. A lot of hard word and effort goes on.
“We missed the Chase by just two feet. We want to prove that we can win a race by the end of this year. This is big for us. I thought I messed up the lap truthfully. I got a lot of good speed off of two, but turn three I turned in and missed my corner, but it worked out. Proud of these guys and everybody back home.”
Joey Logano will start outside the front row for the second time this season at Texas.
Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson rounded out the top five.
Paul Menard, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Blaney, Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch completed the first ten qualifiers.
Denny Hamlin (17th) and Jimmie Johnson (19th) were two other drivers still in the Chase that qualified outside the top ten.
Kyle Busch, who was forced to a back-up car after a crash in practice, will start 24th. It’s the defending Sprint Cup Series champion’s worst start since he started 39th at Atlanta in February after having his pole winning time taken away due to failing inspection.
“I think it is a byproduct of pounding the fence before we even completed a lap in practice,” crew chief Adam Stevens explained about Busch’s car leaking water during his qualifying run. “In our hurry to change the motor and all the drivetrain afterwards, apparently we didn’t get the lower radiator hose completely clamped on the water neck out of the block and proceeded to dump all the water out of it on pit road after our first run. We’re going to start 24th and get after them from there.”
Sprint Cup Series drivers will have two practice sessions on Saturday.