Austin Dillon wins pole for Talladega Cup race on birthday | News Coverage from USA

Austin Dillon wins pole for Talladega Cup race on birthday

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Austin Dillon will start on the pole at Talladega Superspeedway. What happens from there is anybody’s guess.

Dillon celebrated his 29th birthday by posting the highest speed in qualifying Saturday at 192.544 mph for his second pole of the year. Aric Almirola, who won at Talladega in October, was second, followed by Clint Bowyer, five-time Talladega winner Brad Keselowski and Daniel Hemric.

Even by Talladega standards, there’s an element of mystery and potential for chaos heading into Sunday’s Cup series race, which is often marked by big wrecks and late dramatics.

Now, NASCAR has replaced the horsepower-sapping restrictor plates that have been fixtures at Talladega and Daytona for two decades. The cars have tapered spacers and the height of the rear spoiler has been raised in hopes of cutting speeds.

NASCAR tweaked the cars in between Friday practice sessions trying to slow the cars down.

OPINION: Talladega will be more unpredictable than ever

WATCH: Wild and memorable crashes at Talladega

SATURDAY: Reddick holds on for Xfinity win at Talladega

GEICO 500 LINEUP

After Saturday’s qualifying at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway (car number in parentheses):

1. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 192.544 mph.

2. (10) Aric Almirola, Ford, 192.131.

3. (14) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 191.723.

4. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 191.654.

5. (8) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 191.436.

6. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 191.378.

7. (12) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 191.214.

8. (22) Joey Logano, Ford, 191.092.

9. (88) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 190.894.

10. (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 190.784.

11. (9) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 190.753.

12. (34) Michael McDowell, Ford, 190.563.

13. (13) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 190.340.

14. (1) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 190.317.

15. (38) David Ragan, Ford, 190.211.

16. (41) Daniel Suarez, Ford, 189.928.

17. (21) Paul Menard, Ford, 189.921.

18. (36) Matt Tifft, Ford, 189.823.

19. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 189.812.

20. (19) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 189.691.

21. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 189.552.

22. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 189.275.

23. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 189.264.

24. (6) Ryan Newman, Ford, 189.197.

25. (24) William Byron, Chevrolet, 188.879.

26. (95) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 188.441.

27. (20) Erik Jones, Toyota, 188.426.

28. (43) Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 188.245.

29. (62) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 187.141.

30. (47) Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, 186.780.

31. (37) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 186.398.

32. (00) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 186.369.

33. (81) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Toyota, 186.188.

34. (15) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 184.865.

35. (96) Parker Kligerman, Toyota, 183.867.

36. (32) Corey LaJoie, Ford, 183.800.

37. (27) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 183.505.

38. (77) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 183.459.

39. (52) Stanton Barrett, Chevrolet, 180.734.

40. (51) Cody Ware, Ford, 180.176.

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