TALLADEGA, Ala. – Brian Scott had the fastest lap at the right time during Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying session for the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Scott, running a partial Sprint Cup schedule in the No. 33 Chevrolet SS for Circle Sport Racing, earned his first Sprint Cup pole with a 48.293-second lap in the draft around the 2.666-mile oval. Scott’s lap, which was scored at 198.290 mph, was enough to give him the pole ahead of RCR teammate Paul Menard.
During the final five minute qualifying session all of the teams waited until there were three minutes left in the session before heading out on track. The cars all spread out in a single file line, with Scott at the rear of his pack. That allowed him catch the draft off of Menard’s Chevrolet on the final qualifying lap, which gave him the speed he needed to grab the pole.
The top six cars in qualifying are all either part of Richard Childress Racing or teams directly affiliated with RCR.
“It was a team effort,” Scott said. “A big thanks to Joe Falk, Circle Sport Racing, RCR and ECR Engines. It is always a team effort to get these superspeedway poles. We had a plan from the beginning to work as a team with about seven of us in a line.
“We were able to get the right draft and the right suck there right at the last second to get the pole. I couldn’t be more happy for everybody,” Scott said.
A.J. Allmendinger qualified third for JTG Daugherty Racing, followed by Casey Mears and Austin Dillon. Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart completed the fastest 12 cars during the final knockout qualifying session.
Scott was also fastest during the second knockout qualifying session, leading Allmendinger, Edwards Mears and Dillon. Kyle Busch, who will start at the rear of Sunday’s race because of an engine change Friday, had the fastest time in the first portion of qualifying ahead of Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Michael McDowell and Brad Keselowski.
The top five in the first knockout qualifying session failed to advance past the second portion of qualifying.
The cars of Martin Truex Jr. and Kasey Kahne were later disqualified in post-qualifying inspection. They will now start Sunday’s race at the rear of the field.
Failing to qualify for Sunday’s race were Dave Blaney, Joe Nemechek, Eric McClure and J.J. Yeley.