Austin Dillon Wins Fontana Pole After Bizarre Qualifying Session

Austin Dillon never turned in a qualifying lap in the third and final round of Busch Pole Award qualifying on Friday afternoon from the Auto Club Speedway in Southern California. Despite that, the Richard Childress Racing driver will still start on the pole for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

The reason?

None of the 12 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers to make it to the final round did. In a bizarre qualifying session, by time all 12 drivers left pit road, they didn’t have enough time to make it all the way around the 2-mile oval in order to turn an official lap.

By time they got to the finish line, the clock had just expired. As a result, the Round 2 results will determine the starting lineup meaning Dillon, who was quickest in the second round of three, will start on the pole for just the fourth time of his Cup career. Half of which, have now occurred in Fontana (2016).

Dillon, circled the track with a speed of 180.081 mph in his No. 3 Chevrolet en route to the top starting spot.

Kevin Harvick will start alongside in his No. 4 Ford in turning in a lap of 179.386, mph. His teammate, Aric Almirola, will roll off third after posting a lap of 179.082 mph while last weeks winner Kyle Busch (178.895 mph) will start fourth in his No. 18 Toyota.

Joey Logano rounded out the top five with a speed of 178.891 mph.

Chase Elliott qualified eighth after spinning his No. 9 Chevrolet in the first round of qualifying. Luckily, he didn’t anything and continued on.

Last year’s winner Martin Truex Jr. didn’t even make it out of the first round and will roll off 27th.

Auto Club 400 Starting Lineup

Row 1: Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick

Row 2: Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch

Row 3: Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin

Row 4: Ryan Newman, Chase Elliott

Row 5: Clint Bowyer, Ryan Blaney

Row 6: Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Row 7: Brad Keselowski, Chris Buescher

Row 8: Kyle Larson, Ty Dillon

Row 9: Daniel Hemric R, Erik Jones

Row 10: David Ragan, Daniel Suarez

Row 11: Kurt Busch, William Byron

Row 12: Alex Bowman, Matt DiBenedetto

Row 13: Paul Menard, Ryan Preece R

Row 14: Martin Truex Jr., Darrell Wallace Jr.

Row 15: Michael McDowell, Corey LaJoie

Row 16: Ross Chastain, Matt Tifft R

Row 17: Landon Cassill, Cody Ware R

Row 18: Reed Sorenson, BJ McLeod

Row 19: Garrett Smithley, Joey Gase

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