Ryan Blaney scores Busch Light Pole at Bristol

Ryan Blaney captured the Busch Light Pole Award at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday evening with a lap time of 15.356 seconds at 124.954 mph in his No. 12 Team Penske Ford. It is his first pole at Bristol and the 10th of his career.

Qualifying was challenging as the resin on the inside lane of the concrete track seemed to deteriorate quickly, providing significantly less grip from start to finish during the session.

“Proud of this whole Menards group”, Blaney said. “Our Ford Mustang was fast all day – really good in Round 1 [of qualifying] and made some adjustments for the second round. The track really caught everybody by surprise, honestly. The time fall-off and grip loss behind the wheel was incredible, it was huge. So it was, like, who could not mess up a lap and still put a decent time down?

“That was fun, it was fun working through it. I wish I could do it over again and try to make our car even better because I think there was still some more out there. Proud of everybody at Menards, Ford, Advance Auto Parts, DEX Imaging, Wabash, Wurth and everybody that makes it possible. It’s cool to get our first pole of the year and excited to get going tomorrow.”

“The track kind of caught everybody by surprise,” Blaney said. “The time fall-off and the grip loss behind the wheel was incredible. It was like, ‘Who can not mess up a lap and still put a decent time down?’ Great to get our first pole of the year, and ready to go tomorrow.”

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Josh Berry was second fastest in the No. 4 Ford (124.792 mph) and will start beside Blaney on the front row, claiming his best Cup Series career start.

“It means a lot,” Berry said after qualifying. “Obviously being at Bristol that’s really cool, but anywhere at this point it would mean a lot. These guys have been working really hard and they kept me jacked up and we’ve been putting in the work trying to get better. We just need a mistake-free day tomorrow. If we do that, we’ll be in contention.”

Denny Hamlin was third quickest (124.178 mph) in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, followed by Team Penske’s Joey Logano (123.746 mph) in the No. 22 Ford and Chase Elliott (122.882 mph) in the No. 8 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Chase Briscoe, Michael McDowell, William Byron, Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson rounded out the top 10 in the qualifying session.

The green flag for the Food City 500 is set for 3:47 p.m. ET Sunday and will be televised on FOX with radio coverage provided by PRN and SiriusXM Radio.

Starting Lineup for the Food City 500

  1. 1. Ryan Blaney
  2. 2. Josh Berry (R)
  3. 3. Denny Hamlin
  4. 4. Joey Logano
  5. 5. Chase Elliott
  6. 6. Chase Briscoe
  7. 7. Michael McDowell
  8. 8. William Byron
  9. 9. Bubba Wallace
  10. 10. Kyle Larson
  11. 11. Martin Truex Jr.
  12. 12. Christopher Bell
  13. 13. Harrison Burton
  14. 14. Kyle Busch
  15. 15. Erik Jones
  16. 16. Zane Smith (R)
  17. 17. Brad Keselowski
  18. 18. Corey LaJoie
  19. 19. Ty Gibbs
  20. 20. Daniel Hemric
  21. 21. Austin Cindric
  22. 22. Noah Gragson
  23. 23. Tyler Reddick
  24. 24. Todd Gilliland
  25. 25. Ryan Preece
  26. 26. John Hunter Nemechek
  27. 27. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  28. 28. Daniel Suarez
  29. 29. Alex Bowman
  30. 30. A.J. Allmendinger
  31. 31. Austin Dillon
  32. 32. Justin Haley
  33. 33. Kaz Grala (R)
  34. 34. Chris Buescher
  35. 35. Carson Hocevar (R)
  36. 36. Ross Chastain

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

Angela Campbell
Angela Campbell
A native of Charlotte, NC, Angela (Angie) was first introduced to racing by her father. An avid fan of NASCAR, she found a way to combine her love of racing with her passion for writing. Angie is also an award-winning member of the National Motorsports Press Association. Follow her on Twitter @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.


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