Bowyer nips Johnson for Fontana pole

Clint Bowyer
Clint Bowyer

Clint Bowyer paced the field in Saturday’s Busch Pole Qualifying at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, clocking a 40.086-second lap at 179.614 mph. This is Bowyer’s fourth career pole. His No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford will be the first to take the green flag in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Jimmie Johnson, the final NASCAR Cup Series driver to qualify, made it close at the end. The No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was 0.007 seconds short of Bowyer’s time. Johnson’s 179.093 mph will put him second.

Alex Bowman, who led both Friday practice sessions, qualified third at 179.359 mph mph in his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Kurt Busch came in fourth at 178.958 mph. His No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet failed pre-qualifying inspection twice.

Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford was then fifth at 178.882 mph. Aric Almirola, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Kyle Larson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. completed the top 10.

Ross Chastain, filling in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford for the sidelined Ryan Newman, ran 27th at 176.544 mph.

Martin Truex Jr. missed qualifying after three inspection failures. It took the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota four tries to pass. He’ll start from the back in Sunday’s race.

Lineup

Pos No. Driver Team Time Speed
1 14 Clint Bowyer Rush/HAAS CNC Ford 40.086 179.614
2 48 Jimmie Johnson Ally Chevrolet 40.093 179.582
3 88 Alex Bowman Cincinnati Chevrolet 40.143 179.359
4 1 Kurt Busch Monster Energy Chevrolet 40.233 178.958
5 4 Kevin Harvick Mobil 1 Ford 40.250 178.882
6 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 40.280 178.749
7 22 Joey Logano Auto Club of Southern California Ford 40.284 178.731
8 34 Michael McDowell Love's Travel Stops Ford 40.304 178.642
9 42 Kyle Larson McDonald's Chevrolet 40.341 178.478
10 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Kroger Chevrolet 40.351 178.434
11 17 Chris Buescher Fastenal Ford 40.367 178.364
12 21 Matt DiBenedetto Menards/Quaker State Ford 40.428 178.094
13 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 40.485 177.844
14 43 Bubba Wallace Victory Junction Chevrolet 40.487 177.835
15 2 Brad Keselowski America's Tire Ford 40.491 177.817
16 12 Ryan Blaney BODYARMOR Ford 40.503 177.765
17 18 Kyle Busch Interstate Batteries Toyota 40.516 177.708
18 41 Cole Custer # Production Alliance Group/Haas Ford 40.519 177.694
19 8 Tyler Reddick # I am Second Chevrolet 40.583 177.414
20 37 Ryan Preece Cottonelle Chevrolet 40.587 177.397
21 24 William Byron Axalta 24 Tribute Chevrolet 40.610 177.296
22 95 Christopher Bell # Rheem Toyota 40.698 176.913
23 38 John Hunter Nemechek # Fire Alarm Services Ford 40.699 176.909
24 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Chevrolet 40.738 176.739
25 3 Austin Dillon Dow Coatings Chevrolet 40.750 176.687
26 32 Corey LaJoie Pala Casino Ford 40.761 176.639
27 6 Ross Chastain(i) Castrol Ford 40.783 176.544
28 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota 40.790 176.514
29 20 Erik Jones Reeser's Fine Foods Toyota 40.955 175.803
30 52 JJ Yeley(i) JACOB Companies Ford 41.484 173.561
31 96 Daniel Suarez Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota 41.511 173.448
32 15 Brennan Poole # CHOC Kids Chevrolet 41.819 172.171
33 77 Reed Sorenson Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 41.975 171.531
34 53 Joey Gase(i) One Legacy Ford 42.375 169.912
35 0 Quin Houff # Victory Weekend Chevrolet 42.657 168.788
36 51 Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 42.842 168.059
37 66 Timmy Hill(i) MANSCAPED/LASVEGAS.NET Toyota 43.729 164.65
38 19 Martin Truex Jr Bass Pro Shops Toyota 0 0

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