SPARTA, Ky. – Daniel Suarez made sure the best was saved for last during Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying on Friday evening at Kentucky Speedway.
As the final car to attempt a lap, Suarez bumped Aric Almirola to secure the provisional Busch Pole Award, touring the 1.5-mile oval in 29.254 seconds (184.590 mph) with his No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang.
Friday marked Suarez’s second-career Cup Series pole and his first of the season.
“My car has been very fast the entire day. I feel that we had probably the fastest car in the last practice and the fastest car in qualifying again,” Suarez noted. “I am very proud of my guys, everyone with Ford Performance and Stewart-Haas Racing, and everyone that makes this program go. We have been working very hard.
“I really want to win so bad. I haven’t been in victory lane for awhile,” added Suarez, who is seeking his first Cup Series victory. “The last time was in Brazil in a go-kart race. I am looking forward to bringing a trophy home for awhile and we have a very fast car so now it is up to me to make it happen tomorrow night.”
The starting grid and qualifying results will be confirmed following pre-race inspection on Saturday afternoon, as the Cup Series is on an impound schedule this weekend.
Any cars which fail tech on Saturday will have their time disallowed and be forced to start from the rear of the field.
Aric Almirola qualified second and, pending his car passing inspection, will join Suarez on the front row for Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 presented by Wal-Mart.
Almirola posted a time of 29.380 seconds (183.799 mph) with his No. 10 Ford Mustang, a tenth and a quarter off of Suarez’s pole-winning time at the end of the day.
Brad Keselowski timed in third-quick, giving Ford a sweep of the top three grid positions, followed by the Chevrolet Camaro of Kurt Busch and another Ford in Kevin Harvick.
Daniel Hemric, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon and Kyle Busch rounded out the top 10 on the speed charts.
Defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano rolls off 11th, while seven-time titlist Jimmie Johnson starts 13th on Saturday night.
To view the complete starting grid, advance to the next page.