Allmendinger nabs pole in Sonoma

Allmendinger talks to media after winning pole

AJ Allmendinger earned the Coors Light Pole Award for the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet on Saturday at Sonoma Raceway. Allmendinger, who posted a best speed of 96.310 mph, will lead the field for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350.

Kurt Busch will also start on the front row tomorrow afternoon after finishing second (96.095 mph).

Matt Kenseth's No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota rounded out the top three with a fastest lap of 96.001 mph.

Kyle Larson finished qualifying in the fourth spot. Larson topped round one of qualifying with a track-record lap of 96.568 mph. The record was previously set by teammate Jamie McMurray (96.350 mph) last year. McMurray did not advance to the second round of qualifying as he finished in the 18th position during the first round.

Rounding out the top five was Sonoma's most successful driver, Jeff Gordon (95.905 mph). The No. 24 Chevrolet driver will race at Sonoma Raceway for the last time as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor.

The red flag was brought out with seven minutes remaining in round two after Kyle Busch spun on Turn 10. Busch finished 11th (95.293 mph).

During the first round of qualifying, Michael Annett stalled on the track, bringing out the red flag with 15 minutes remaining.

Brendan Gaughan, who finished in P44 in the first round, is the only driver in the field who did not qualify for Sunday's race.

QUOTES

AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KINGSFORD CHARCOAL CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER

IT'S NEVER A PERFECT LAP, BUT HOW CLOSE WAS IT?

"They were both pretty good. We had that first caution on my first lap, and it's just one of those things. You've got to re-set your mind. But, the Kingsford Chevy has been good these first two days. I've really got to thank all my guys that are hear and especially back at the shop. They've worked on this car so much to do everything that we need to get as much speed out of it as possible. So, it's a good day, but we've got to focus on tomorrow."

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]HOW DO YOU BALANCE KNOWING THAT THIS IS PROBABLY ONE OF YOUR BEST SHOTS TO WIN ALL YEAR, YET NOT PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON YOURSELF?

"I don't know. I haven't grown up very well on not putting a lot of pressure on myself. So, it is what it is. We knew that if we go do our job and if I do my job tomorrow, and we have solid pit stops, and we just take care of business, at the end we should give ourselves a chance. And that's all we can ask for. It's a solid start, but the prize is tomorrow."

KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 2nd
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR CAR AND YOUR PACKAGE FOR SUNDAY?

"It has a nice balance all the way through, the braking and transmission gears, and the overall corner speed. It's a nice package that (crew chief) Tony Gibson gave me, and all the guys back at the shop. Thanks to them for building this special car for a road course race. There was a little apprehension coming in because we didn't have testing sessions or any kind of shakedown sessions. And so, to be outside pole with the Haas Automation Chevy, that's awesome. That's what we wanted. And now we've got all kinds of strategy plays to figure out now to get into race mode. So, we did our job. We're on the front row."

JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AARP MEMBER ADVANTAGES CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 5TH

ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:
"After the first run we were third and I certainly got encouraged that I could make a few adjustments and hit my marks. I think the car was capable of being at least first or second. I missed one corner there on that last run and I don't know how much that cost me, but overall it was a really solid effort. I'm excited to have AARP Member Advantages on board this weekend. We are trying to take advantage of somethings ourselves here and having fun this weekend."

TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/BASS PRO SHOPS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 7TH

ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:
"It was good. It wasn't as good as our second run was. I was really happy with our second run. I just over drove a couple of the corners trying to make up time to try to make a pole run out of it. Compared to where we were yesterday I was really happy with where we ended up today."

CASEY MEARS, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 8TH

ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:

"It was good. The guys did a really good job preparing the car and making sure we could get everything out of it. They improved on it from yesterday. A lot of the stuff they did to prepare for qualifying and it was good. We went out there the very first time out and the tires didn't seemed like they wanted to come in very well when they were new. I think whatever series was on the track before us it just had a little rubber that didn't agree with the rubber on the track. It was a little bit slick first getting going. But then after that the car had some speed. That last run we were just a little too loose and I got a little bit a wheel hop into (Turn) 11 and I think that would have put us pretty close to it if we could have pulled that off. I'm looking forward to Sunday."

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S PRO SERVICES CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 13TH

ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
"Yeah, really bummed the first lap we had a braking issue and had to go back out for a second run and just about got in on old tires. Disappointed that we didn't get in on that first lap, didn't get in in general, but I know we've got a good car. We will go racing tomorrow and see what we get."

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 4 FOLDS OF HONOR/OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE/BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 17th

WHAT SECTION OF THE TRACK COST YOU THE MOST TIME?

"What section didn't I screw-up? This has just been something I've never been very good at as far as the Qualifying thing here at Sonoma. Our Budweiser/Outback/Folds of Honor Chevy is handing good and doing all the good things that you want it to, and it's really good in Qualifying trim, but I was just too easy in (Turns) 2, 3, and 4; and okay down the hill and then got up the race track both laps in (Turn) 11. So that cost us three or four tenths both times. We have a good car. I've got some cars to pass. We passed a lot of cars last year, but I'm just not very good at the Qualifying thing here, for whatever reason."

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 MICROSOFT WINDOWS 10 CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 20th

ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT STARTING 20TH?

"Yeah, I think the car is going to be good. We just didn't get to go out and run a second run, there in Qualifying. Everybody picked-up. They did the same thing last year. I feel like we had a good enough shot to get into the Top 12, but coming out of Turn 11 to the green on our second run, the car got stuck in second gear and the transmission won't shift. So, we'll change the transmission. We're going to have to go to the rear, but I'm real happy with the car. We worked on it hard yesterday. We weren't good when we got here but we made changes and it's going to be a fun car tomorrow."

Results

Pos. # Driver Manufacturer Sponsor Speed Time Behind
1 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet Kingsford Charcoal 96.31 74.385 Leader
2 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Haas Automation 96.095 74.551 0.166
3 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota Dollar General 96.001 74.624 0.239
4 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet Viva Vantage 95.932 74.678 0.293
5 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet AARP MEMBER ADVANTAGES 95.905 74.699 0.314
6 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-Hour Energy 95.884 74.715 0.33
7 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Mobil 1 / Bass Pro Shops 95.663 74.888 0.503
8 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS 95.563 74.966 0.581
9 55 David Ragan Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 95.497 75.018 0.633
10 2 Brad Keselowski Ford Alliance Truck Parts 95.298 75.175 0.79
11 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's Crispy 95.293 75.179 0.794
12 78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet Furniture Row/Visser Precision 95.177 75.27 0.885
13 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet LOWE'S PRO SERVICES 95.756 74.815 0.43
14 19 Carl Edwards Toyota Stanley 95.733 74.833 0.448
15 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Freight 95.554 74.973 0.588
16 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet WIX Filters 95.531 74.991 0.606
17 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Folds of Honor / Outback Steakhouse / Budweiser 95.477 75.034 0.649
18 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet CESSNA 95.436 75.066 0.681
19 22 Joey Logano Ford Shell Pennzoil 95.417 75.081 0.696
20 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet Microsoft 95.39 75.102 0.717
21 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy 95.366 75.121 0.736
22 16 Greg Biffle Ford Ortho Ford Fusion 95.345 75.138 0.753
23 95 Michael McDowell Ford KLOVE Radio 95.336 75.145 0.76
24 9 Sam Hornish Jr Ford Jacob Companies 95.208 75.246 0.861
25 43 Aric Almirola Ford Nathans Famous 95.084 75.344 0.959
26 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Great Clips 95.006 75.406 1.021
27 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet Brandt 94.92 75.474 1.089
28 38 David Gilliland Ford Love's Travel Stops 94.841 75.537 1.152
29 35 Cole Whitt Ford Uponor 94.805 75.566 1.181
30 83 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota Burger King 94.714 75.638 1.253
31 6 Trevor Bayne Ford Advocare Ford Fusion 94.534 75.782 1.397
32 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Richmond/Menards 94.527 75.788 1.403
33 32 Boris Said Ford Loss Prevention Group 94.477 75.828 1.443
34 23 J.J. Yeley Toyota Dr Pepper 94.441 75.857 1.472
35 34 Justin Marks Ford Dockside Logistics 94.32 75.954 1.569
36 33 Alex Kennedy Chevrolet Media Cast 94.132 76.106 1.721
37 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Dow 94.048 76.174 1.789
38 98 Josh Wise Ford Dogecoin 93.996 76.216 1.831
39 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet TBA 92.97 77.057 2.672
40 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford Fastenal Ford Fusion 92.958 77.067 2.682
41 7 Alex Bowman Chevrolet Golden Corral 92.885 77.128 2.743
42 46 Michael Annett Chevrolet Bene-fit 92.378 77.551 3.166
43 26 Jeb Burton Toyota Maxim Fantasy Sports 92.251 77.658 3.273

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