The Hendrick pilots close the first row of Bristol



The Hendrick Motorsports drivers will start in the front row for the second consecutive week in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Chase Elliott and William Byron were the two fastest drivers in the final qualifying round at Bristol Motor Speedway, with Elliott winning his fifth pole position. The No. 9 Chevrolet ran a fast lap of 131.713 mph (14.568s) while Byron recorded a lap of 131.371 mph.

The pole is the first of the season for Elliott and the first in Bristol.

"It's amazing," said Elliott. "I've been wanting a pole out of Daytona and Talladega for a long time, so I feel like I've finally been able to contribute a bit more and get a pole that my team certainly deserves – we have a fast NAPA Chevy.

"I appreciate the efforts of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports: the engine department, the chbadis shop and everyone at home, they have been working very hard to improve, and this is a big problem.

"I think we have a lot of work to do for Sunday and tomorrow we will go to work and try to work well for 500 laps." That is a long time. "

Byron almost lost the pole, but will start next to Elliott in the front row of Hendrick's Chevrolet. Image of Jarrett / LAT.

Rounding out the top five were Ryan Blaney (131.182 mph), Erik Jones (131.057) and Denny Hamlin (130.700).

Aric Almirola was the sixth fastest at 130.602 mph, followed by three other Ford drivers: Joey Logano (Team Penske, 130.229) seventh, Clint Bowyer (130.168) eighth, Stewart-Haas teammate Almirola, and Paul Menard ( Wood Brothers, 130,026) ninth.

Hendrick Camaro of Jimmie Johnson completed the top 10 at 129.824 mph.

Kyle Busch, the defending winner of the race, will begin the 17th after failing to advance to the final round. His brother Kurt, the most recent winner at Bristol, also did not advance in the first round and will begin the 27th.

UNTIL NEXT TIME: Second practice at 8:30 a.m. ET on Saturday.

QUALIFYING


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