Ryan Blaney wins pole for Cup race at Phoenix


AVONDALE, Ariz. – Ryan Blaney will start on the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Phoenix Raceway and be joined by Denny Hamlin on the front row.

Blaney earned his seventh career pole with a lap of 132.709 mph in the final round of Cup qualifying Saturday. Hamlin starts second after a lap of 132.353 mph.

Blaney’s last pole came at this event in 2019.

MORE: Phoenix Cup qualifying results

William Byron qualified third at 132.275 mph and will share the second row with Christopher Bell (132.270 mph). Aric Almirola, the only driver to score a top-10 finish in each of the first three races this season, qualified fifth at 131.984 mph.

“Definitely needed it after our early end at Las Vegas,” Blaney told FS1, referring to last week’s race where he couldn’t avoid a spinning Brad Keselowski and ran into his former teammate, ending his race.

Hamlin has finished no better than 15th this season and failed to finish two of the first three races this year.

“We’ve got the track position, now we just need to keep it up there,” Hamlin told FS1.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. did not make a qualifying attempt after having an engine issue in practice.