NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway

Chase Elliott is on the pole for Hendrick Motorsports

Thunder Valley is ready to rumble for the second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series short track race of 2019. Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee will host the eighth of 36 races this season, the Food City 500 on Sunday, April 7. The .533-mile oval is the quickest short track on the circuit; drivers typically run a lap here in less than 15 seconds.

 

NASCAR's new handling package combined with a traction compound added for better grip resulted in track record speeds. The fastest driver wasn't even the pole sitter; Ryan Blaney set the new standard with a 14.528-second, 132.076 mph lap at the end of Round 2.

 

But there was still one round of qualifying left and Blaney's good buddy Chase Elliott made the most of it. His lap of 14.568 seconds bested the other 11 cars in the final session, earning the second straight pole and third overall this season for Hendrick Motorsports. Teammate William Byron sits on the outside of the front row a second straight week.

 

Just 37 cars competed for 40 spots this weekend, meaning all drivers made the race. One driver, Ross Chastain, failed to take time for Premium Motorsports while a 38th entry owned by them, the No. 27, withdrew before Friday’s practice. (Reed Sorenson was driving.)

 

1. Chase Elliott

2. William Byron

3. Ryan Blaney

4. Erik Jones

5. Denny Hamlin

6. Aric Almirola

7. Joey Logano

8. Clint Bowyer

9. Paul Menard

10. Jimmie Johnson

11. Ryan Newman

12. Brad Keselowski

13. Kevin Harvick

14. Alex Bowman

15. Austin Dillon

16. Kyle Larson

17. Kyle Busch

18. Michael McDowell

19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

20. Daniel Suarez

21. Matt DiBenedetto

22. David Ragan

23. Martin Truex Jr.

24. Ty Dillon

25. Chris Buescher

26. Daniel Hemric

27. Kurt Busch

28. Bubba Wallace

29. Matt Tifft

30. Ryan Preece

31. Landon Cassill

32. Corey Lajoie

33. Gray Gaulding (i)

34. Bayley Currey

35. Timmy Hill (i)

36. Quin Houff

37. Ross Chastain (i)

 

(i) - Ineligible to collect Cup Series points

 

Failed To Qualify

None

 

QUALIFYING NOTES

  • Elliott won his first pole of the season and fifth of his NASCAR Cup career. Surprisingly enough, it’s his first ever at a track without a restrictor plate (Daytona/Talladega), coming in his 121st series start.
  • Byron (2nd) has back-to-back top-5 starts for the first time in his Cup career.
  • Denny Hamlin (5th) remains the only driver with top-10 starts in all eight Cup Series races.
  • Jimmie Johnson (10th) has back-to-back top-10 starts for the first time since New Hampshire and Indianapolis in July 2017.
  • Kyle Busch (17th) had his worst qualifying effort since the season-opening Daytona 500. It’s his third straight outside the top 10.
  • Daniel Hemric (26th) was the top qualifying rookie.
  • Gray Gaulding (33rd) is making his first 2019 Cup Series start of the year driving for Rick Ware Racing. Panini America, the exclusive trading card partner of NASCAR, is serving as primary sponsor.
  • Bayley Currey (34th) is back behind the wheel of a Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet for the third time this season. Sponsorship is being provided by Belmont Classic Cars.
  • Timmy Hill (35th) will run the part-time Carl Long-owned No. 66 Toyota a second straight week. Hill was 38th at Texas in his 2019 Cup debut.
  • Quin Houff (36th) returns to the Spire Motorsports Chevrolet this week. Houff is running a limited schedule and making his second start of the year; he was 30th in his Cup Series debut (ISM Raceway).

 

NASCAR RACE BREAKDOWN

Race: Food City 500

Track: Bristol Motor Speedway

Date: Sunday, April 7

Time: 2:00 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Sports 1

Radio: PRN, SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 500 laps (266.5 miles)

Stage 1: 125 Laps

Stage 2: 125 Laps

Final Stage: 250 Laps

 

PRE-RACE ANALYSIS

Jeb Burton stops by to chat about his recent partnership with JR Motorsports before the Frontstretch podcast team of Mike Neff and Dustin Albino preview the upcoming race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Event Date: 
Sunday, March 24, 2019 - 13:30
Include in Acu Data Feed: 
Exclude from Acu-data Feed

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