HAMPTON, Ga. – It has been a rough season for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr., but on Friday he had something to smile about after earning his first career Sprint Cup pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Stenhouse put his No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford at the top of the charts with a 29.227-second lap at 189.688 mph. Before Friday, his best career Sprint Cup start was a third-place effort at Kansas Speedway earlier this year.
“Great start to the weekend, we’ve just got to be able to finish it off,” said Stenhouse. “We’ll be in race trim tomorrow for practice and see if we can’t get it tuned up and we’re looking forward to Sunday night.”
The rookie driver will be joined on the front row by his teammate Carl Edwards, who was the only other driver to top 189 mph in qualifying. Juan Pablo Montoya, Denny Hamlin and Jeff Gordon completed the top five.
Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson filled the top 10.
All 43 drivers that made a qualifying attempt on Friday will start Sunday’s AdvoCare 500.