Wednesday, Oct 20

Joe Gibbs Racing Faster than the Field in Pocono

Saturday, Jun 04 2245
The inaugural XFINITY Series qualifying session at Pocono Raceway was held Saturday morning where it was broken into two rounds of single-car runs, much like the restrictor plate tracks of Daytona and Talladega. 

For the fifth time in 2016, Erik Jones will start from the pole in an XFINITY Series race. In the second round of qualifying he laid down a lap of 175.926 mph, which was much faster than the rest of the field. In the first round of qualifying the No. 20 Toyota was over a half-second faster than second-place. 

Kyle Busch has been fast since the No. 18 team unloaded on Thursday. He was second overall at 175. 203 mph. His only win at Pocono in NASCAR came last summer when he won in the Camping World Truck Series. 

The third Joe Gibbs Racing driver, Daniel Suarez was third quick at 174.784 mph. It his 12th top-10 start of 2016, in 12 events. 

Kyle Larson was fourth at 173.568 and Joey Logano rounded out the top five at 172.781 mph. 

Elliott Sadler was sixth, Paul Menard seventh, Ty Dillon eighth, Justin Allgaier ninth and Alex Bowman rounded out the top 10. 

The top 12 cars in the second round of qualifying were separated by two seconds. 


Notable drivers to miss the top 12 cutoff were a pair of rookies led by Brennan Poole who posted the 13th best lap, with Brandon Jones 14th, Cup Series driver Aric Almirola 16th and Brendan Gaughan 17th. 

Darrell Wallace, Jr. was the second to last car to attempt a qualifying lap in the opening round. The No. 6 Ford got loose getting into the corner and went for a long spin, keeping it off the wall. In doing so, Bowman was on track for his warm up lap and had to pull his car into the pits to cool the engine down.

Bowman posted the eight fastest lap even with a hot engine, while Wallace will have to come from the rear as he never made a full lap. 

The green flag is set to wave shortly after 1:00 p.m. ET.
Dustin Albino

Dustin is a 20-year-old, currently studying journalism at Ithaca College. Albino has always wanted to report on NASCAR and beginning at the end of 2014 that is exactly what he did with Speedway Digest. Since that time he has become well-known around the garage area and is looking to attend even more races than he did in 2015. 

Twitter: @DustinAlbino
Instagram: @dustin_albino

 

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