MENCS: Blaney Wins First Career Pole at Kansas

KANSAS CITY, KS - Ryan Blaney scored his first career pole in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas Speedway. A lap of 28.481 seconds, 189.600 mph was what got the job done for the driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Ford.

Blaney ended the first round sixth on the board with 28.602 seconds, 188.798 MPH. The 23-year-old then moved up to fourth in the second round with 28.499-second, 189.480-MPH run.

“I didn’t know during the first rounds if we would have enough,” Blaney said after the qualifying session. “The (No.) 18 (Busch) and (No.) 4 were really fast. We got our car better and better each round and that is what you want.”

In Blaney’s second full-time MENCS campaign, he and the No. 21 team have turned things around. He attributes it to their hard work during the offseason. “Ford and everybody have made a big dedication to our team,” Blaney said. “They have stepped up. I think you see it this year, not only in qualifying but racing as well. It’s nice to be a part of a team that is so hardworking and dedicated to be faster every week. It feels nice as a driver.”

Joining Blaney on the front row will be Joey Logano, who posted his eighth top-10 start of the 2017 MENCS season and 10th in 16 races here at Kansas. The driver of the No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford ended the first qualifying round in the eighth-place position with 28.664 seconds, 188.390 MPH. In round two, Logano finished third with a time and speed of 28.499, 189.480. A time of 28.490 seconds and a speed of 189.540 MPH are what got him the second front-row starting position.

Logano knows it could have been better. “I can think of a couple spots when I dissect it where we could have had more speed,” he said after the run. “The greedy side of me wants the pole so bad but the realistic side says we made huge improvements from practice so I’m proud of that.”

Martin Truex Jr. will start third in tomorrow’s race after a lap and speed of 28.541 seconds, 189.201 MPH. The driver of the No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota ended round one with 28.703 seconds, 188.134 MPH. In round two, Truex Jr. improved to sixth with 28.526 seconds, 189.301 MPH.

“This place has been good and bad,” Truex Jr. said following qualifying. “We’ve led a lot of laps here and had a really good track record running well and haven’t been able to win yet. Hopefully the blue (Auto-Owners Insurance, paint scheme) colors bring us some good luck this weekend.”

Kyle Busch led round one with a lap and speed of 29.373 seconds and 190.322 MPH as well as round two in the No. 18 M&M's Red Nose Toyota. His second-round lap-and-speed combo was 28.331 seconds, 190.604 MPH. 

While there will be no drivers going home, a total of 11 had inspection issues and did not put down a qualifying lap.

The Go Bowling 400 begins tomorrow night at 6:30 PM CT (track time) on FS1, MRN and Sirius XM Channel 90.

 

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Round 1

1. Kyle Busch

2. Kevin Harvick

3. Aric Amirola

4. Kyle Larson

5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 

6. Ryan Blaney

7. Kurt Busch

8. Joey Logano

9. Martin Truex Jr.

10. Jamie McMurray

Round 2

1. Kyle Busch

2. Kevin Harvick

3. Joey Logano

4. Ryan Blaney

5. Kyle Larson

6. Martin Truex Jr.

7. Chase Elliott

8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

9. Kurt Busch

10. Jamie McMurray

Round 3 & Top 10 Starters

1. Ryan Blaney

2. Joey Logano

3. Martin Truex J.

4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

5. Kyle Busch

6. Kurt Busch

7. Denny Hamlin

8. Kevin Harvick

9. Kyle Larson

10. Chase Elliott

Katie Williams

Coming off the ranch, I didn’t have a motorsports background but my passion was and still is very strong. My first taste of NASCAR came at the age of seven while waiting for music videos to come on the old TNN network. As I grew up, I pursued other interest but eventually rediscovered cars going left when I found the SPEED channel during the 2011-2012 offseason.

I didn’t decide I wanted to pursue a career in NASCAR until the summer of 2012. I’m not a wrench head or strong enough for a pit crew so media was the next best thing. At the beginning of 2013, I started going to races and making connections within the sport. I also studied Motorsports Management at Sports Management Worldwide. Although I love what happens on the track, I’ve always been interested in what goes on behind the scenes and I’ve gotten to know many people throughout the radio, TV and digital media world.

While I’m a long time writer, 2015 was my first year actually covering the sport with www.nascarfemale.com . I also became a media correspondent for Raceline. I’ve been able to help the TV show gain recognition on social media. My current goal is to acquire more experience in covering NASCAR and move up the media ladder. Outside of motorsports, I have been an equine-sports statistician for 16 years.

I currently reside in Gillette, WY where I’m still involved with horses. I enjoy riding them, rodeo, swimming, traveling and meeting people.

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