William Byron blisters field to capture Indy RC pole

William Byron laid down a blisteringly flying lap to win the pole for the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race on the Indy Road Course.

After having to abandon his first lap on the track in Round 1, Byron was among the first to hit the track in the final 10-minute session and set an average single-lap speed of 100.044 mph – the fastest lap of the weekend so far.

The pole is Byron’s second of the 2021 season, in which there have only been six qualifying sessions so far. He also won the pole at Road America in July.

“Thanks to Hendrick Motorsports, they build phenomenal road course cars. They’ve been super-fast,” Byron said. “I hope we have the speed in the race from my end to back it up.

“We’ve definitely been doing a good job in qualifying. I’m glad we got qualifying back because I feel like it’s one of our strengths on the No. 24 team.

“Looking forward to the race, and like I said, hope we can keep it up there.”

Rookie Chase Briscoe ended up second (99.561 mph), but nearly a half-mile-an-hour slower. Last weekend’s winner, Chase Elliott, was third (99.518 mph).

“We’ve had some good runs on the road courses. Obviously with our points situation, we’ve got to win, so we can just go and whatever gives us the best track position, we’ll do,” Briscoe said.

“Hopefully we’ll end up in Victory Lane.”

Kyle Larson was fourth and Daniel Suarez rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-12 starters are Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, A.J. Allmendinger, Ross Chastain, Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick and Michael McDowell.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 24 United States William Byron Chevrolet 2 1'27.765     100.044
2 14 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 1 1'28.191 0.426 0.426 99.561
3 9 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 2 1'28.229 0.464 0.038 99.518
4 5 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 1 1'28.305 0.540 0.076 99.433
5 99 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 1 1'28.431 0.666 0.126 99.291
6 19 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 1 1'28.502 0.737 0.071 99.211
7 22 United States Joey Logano Ford 1 1'28.511 0.746 0.009 99.201
8 16 United States A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 1 1'28.518 0.753 0.007 99.193
9 42 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 1 1'28.562 0.797 0.044 99.144
10 41 United States Cole Custer Ford 1 1'28.562 0.797 0.000 99.144
11 8 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 1 1'28.596 0.831 0.034 99.106
12 34 United States Michael McDowell Ford 1 1'29.302 1.537 0.706 98.323

Round 1

Larson, fresh off his win Saturday night at the Knoxville Nationals, led the way in the first 25-minute session, with an average single-lap speed of 99.856 mph.

Briscoe was second (99.739 mph) and Allmendinger third (99.614 mph). Truex and Byron rounded out the top-five.

Also advancing to the second round were Custer, Reddick, Logano, Chastain, McDowell, Elliott and Suarez.

Byron had to abandon his first flying lap on the track after locking his brakes but came back following a stop in the garage to still post a lap in the top-five.

Among those who failed to advance were Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.

Corey LaJoie was still completing his final flying lap when time expired but a track safety vehicle apparently though the session complete and went on track. LaJoie saw the track and successfully avoid it.

“That was a problem. I’ve never been able to say, at speed, that you have a safety vehicle out there,” he said. “It’s nice to know the radios are working here at Indy but that guy’s radio wasn’t working.

“Thankfully everybody’s safe and in one piece.”

 

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13 33 United States Austin Cindric Ford 3 1'28.359 0.428 0.032 99.372
14 11 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 3 1'28.400 0.469 0.041 99.326
15 21 United States Matt DiBenedetto Ford 3 1'28.414 0.483 0.014 99.310
16 12 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 3 1'28.591 0.660 0.177 99.112
17 20 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 4 1'28.727 0.796 0.136 98.960
18 10 United States Aric Almirola Ford 3 1'28.782 0.851 0.055 98.898
19 17 United States Chris Buescher Ford 3 1'28.811 0.880 0.029 98.866
20 1 United States Kurt Busch Chevrolet 3 1'28.812 0.881 0.001 98.865
21 18 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 3 1'28.818 0.887 0.006 98.858
22 47 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 3 1'28.970 1.039 0.152 98.689
23 3 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 3 1'29.017 1.086 0.047 98.637
24 48 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 3 1'29.026 1.095 0.009 98.627
25 4 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 3 1'29.071 1.140 0.045 98.578
26 7 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 3 1'29.074 1.143 0.003 98.574
27 23 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 3 1'29.278 1.347 0.204 98.349
28 43 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 1 1'29.318 1.387 0.040 98.305
29 77 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 3 1'29.410 1.479 0.092 98.204
30 37 United States Ryan Preece Chevrolet 3 1'29.544 1.613 0.134 98.057
31 2 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 3 1'29.577 1.646 0.033 98.021
32 6 United States Ryan Newman Ford 3 1'29.639 1.708 0.062 97.953
33 38 Anthony Alfredo Ford 1 1'29.640 1.709 0.001 97.952
34 15 Australia James Davison Chevrolet 3 1'29.976 2.045 0.336 97.586
35 78 United States Andy Lally Ford 1 1'30.345 2.414 0.369 97.187
36 52 United States Josh Bilicki Ford 2 1'31.203 3.272 0.858 96.273
37 51 United States Cody Ware Chevrolet 4 1'31.656 3.725 0.453 95.797
38 00 United States Quin Houff Chevrolet 2 1'31.837 3.906 0.181 95.609
39 53 United States Garrett Smithley Ford 2 1'31.865 3.934 0.028 95.579
40 66 United States Timmy Hill Toyota 2 1'32.691 4.760 0.826 94.728

 

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