Martin Truex Jr. qualified first for Sunday’s Cup race at Auto Club Speedway.
With a speed of 186.567 mph, Truex won his second consecutive pole.
It’s the 17th pole of his career.
Kyle Busch qualified second with a speed of 186.437 mph.
“First time ever (with consecutive poles), that’s definitely pretty cool,” Truex told Fox Sports 1. “We tried to stay on scuffs (tires) in that first practice, ran our best lap on scuffs this morning. Thought that played into our hands a little bit here in qualifying. Round 2, I got the seam a little bit and lost some time and that bit me. Luckily in the third round was able to put a lap together. Wouldn’t say it was perfect, but it was a pretty solid lap.”
Kevin Harvick, who is going for his fourth consecutive Cup win, qualified 10th. He was fastest in the first two rounds.
His first round time of 38.147 sec/188.744 mph set a track record.
“We expected to show up and have a good day at this particular point,” Harvick told FS1. “When you look at the momentum and confidence everybody has and really everything that we’re doing right now, it just keeps building and you keep feeding off that momentum.”
Busch starts on the front row for the second time this year.
“Definitely screwed up Turn 3, I thought everything else about the lap was pretty good,” Busch told FS1. “With the amount of time I had in the gas on exit I was still too easy missing the exit with the amount of speed we were carrying.”
Thirteen teams were unable to make qualifying attempts after they failed to get through inspection.
All 13 cars will start from the rear Sunday.
“The first time through there were a lot of failures at all the stations, it was basically kind of split between chassis, weights and measures and the body scan, ” Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition told FS1. “The second time through it seems like most of it centered around the actual body scan itself, which honestly this is the most aerodynamic track we’ve gone to, so kind of no surprise that they would be pushing the limits here more than some of the other places.”
McDowell did not make a run after his team changed a rear gear in practice. He will also start from the rear.
Due to the inspections issues, Earnhardt (23rd) and Gray Gaulding (20th) earned career-best qualifying results.
Late Friday night NASCAR announced it would permit all teams that made a lap in qualifying to purchase a set of sticker tires to start the race on. They must return their scuff tires to Goodyear.