Austin Dillon Takes the Pole at Auto Club Speedway

Austin Dillon will lead the field to the green flag for Sunday’s race in the Golden State.

The driver of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet scored the pole for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway with a time of 38.200 and a speed of 188.482 mph. This is the second career Sprint Cup Series pole for the third-year driver out of Lewisville, North Carolina. His first came in the 2014 Daytona 500.

“A Daytona 500 pole sitter, now I got a pole somewhere else,” Dillon said. “To do it at a driver’s race track like this at Fontana, it means a lot to me. Just proud of this American Ethanol team. We’ve had fast cars all year long. I knew going into that third session if I didn’t make mistakes I would have a shot. I just stayed with it off of 4. I kept my locker locked as much as I could with the gas just keeping as much fuel to the car as I could. It worked out for us.”

Kevin Harvick will start second in his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet after posting a time of 38.231 and a speed of 188.329 mph.

“Good effort by Rodney and the team getting the car ready,” Harvick said. “This track is a challenge with its bumps and rough surface and the lower downforce makes them harder to drive but we’ve got a good car and looking forward to Sunday. Our goal was to run the same lap time all three rounds. That is going to put you in a spot to have a chance. All in all, it’s been a good start to the weekend and really looking forward to the race on Sunday.”

Denny Hamlin, who broke the track record in the second round of qualifying, will start third in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota after posting a time of 38.372 and a speed of 187.637 mph. Ryan Newman will start fourth in his No. 31 RCR Chevrolet after posting a time of 38.446 and a speed of 187.276 mph. Carl Edwards will round out the top-five in his No. 19 JGR Toyota after posting a time of 38.457 and a speed of 187.222 mph.

Kyle Busch will start sixth in his No. 18 JGR Toyota followed by Trevor Bayne in seventh in his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Chase Elliott will start eighth in his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Joey Logano will start ninth in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford and Jamie McMurray will round out the top-10 in his No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

AJ Allmendinger will start 11th in his No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet while Kasey Kahne will round out the 12 drivers that made the final round of qualifying in his No. 5 HMS Chevrolet.

Complete Starting Lineup:

  1. Austin Dillon
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Ryan Newman
  5. Carl Edwards
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Trevor Bayne
  8. Chase Elliott
  9. Joey Logano
  10. Jamie McMurray
  11. AJ Allmendinger
  12. Kasey Kahne
  13. Paul Menard
  14. Ryan Blaney
  15. Brad Keselowski
  16. Chris Buescher
  17. Martin Truex Jr.
  18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  19. Jimmie Johnson
  20. Matt Kenseth
  21. Brian Scott
  22. Greg Biffle
  23. Casey Mears
  24. Brian Vickers
  25. Aric Almirola
  26. Kurt Busch
  27. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  28. Regan Smith
  29. Clint Bowyer
  30. Michael McDowell
  31. Danica Patrick
  32. Kyle Larson
  33. Matt DiBenedetto
  34. Landon Cassill
  35. David Ragan
  36. Cole Whitt
  37. Josh Wise
  38. Michael Annett
  39. Jeffrey Earnhardt



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."


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