Donning his Pennzoil cap with a smile on his face, Ryan Blaney proceeded to shake hands with his crew and debrief with crew chief Jeremy Bullins, after winning the pole for the Pennzoil Las Vegas 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. If 2018 is going to be a down year for Ford, Blaney didn’t get the memo, nor did the other seven Ford drivers in the Top-12.
“I thought our Ford was pretty good over three rounds,” Blaney said. “The second and third round were really good. They made really good changes to our race car and got us where we needed to be. It is nice to know we have some good speed and now it is about getting it racing well. We will work on that tomorrow. Hopefully we will be set up for Sunday.”
Blaney will lead the field to the green flag on Sunday, in his No. 12 Team Penske Ford, after posting a final round time of 28.200 and a speed of 191.489 mph.
Kevin Harvick will start second with a time of 28.384 and a speed of 190.248 mph.
“You never heard us complain about our Fords. I gotta thank everyone from Ford and Stewart-Haas Racing for giving me a fast Fusion,” Harvick said. “I knew I kind of blew it coming to the green. I had to lift off the throttle late around the corner just trying to get to the green and I wound up getting the car too tight and it was where it was needed to be the rest of the lap, on the edge. All in all it was a great qualifying effort. This isn’t a place we have qualified well in the past. That will definitely help our day on Sunday.”
Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson will round out the Top-Five.
“I was hanging on for those three laps,” Busch said. “One of our first times starting out in just Q trim. When you go after it hard right away in practice, it hit me on the loose side. We had nothing to loose in that third round and we are still a little on the loose side but that is a good trend for race trim. Once you get into those long runs you build up toward tight on the air pressures. How about those three Fords up top again.”
Chase Elliott, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones and Joey Logano will round out the Top-10.
Clint Bowyer and Paul Menard will round out the 12 that made the final round.
After the first round of qualifying, Truex’s team reported that the inner-liner of his left-rear tire had sprung a leak, causing the pressure of it to equalize with the rest of the outer layer (the inner-liner runs at a higher pressure).