Almirola scores first pole of the season for Sunday night's QS400
Aric Almirola took his first pole position of the season Saturday for Sunday’s Quaker State 400 Available at Walmart at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The NASCAR Cup Series race is scheduled to take the green flag at 7 p.m. ET (USA Network, PRN Radio and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio).
Almirola led a parade of Ford Mustangs to dominate qualifying at the 1.54-mile track that’s been tagged an “intermediate superspeedway” after its most recent reconfiguration.
Almirola powered his No. 10 Stewart-Haas Mustang to a best lap of 31.261 seconds at 177.346 mph to take the top spot in NASCAR’s two-round qualifying system. It’s the fifth pole of Almirola’s Cup Series career, his first since 2022 at Bristol Motor Speedway’s Night Race, and his second at AMS (also 2019). It will be the third time that Almirola will start from the front row at Atlanta since 2019.
“It feels good just to have something go our way,” Almirola said. “We’ve been bringing fast cars to the race track all year. To get the pole is a testament to Drew (Blickensderfer, crew chief) and everyone back at the Stewart-Haas shop.”
Almirola will lead the field to the green flag alongside Ryan Blaney of Team Penske, who posted a time of 31.275 seconds at 177.26 mph to take the second spot.
“We’ve been working so hard and I’m really proud of everybody,” Almirola said. “It also helps to have good horsepower thanks to Doug Yates and everyone at his shop. We are going to lead the field to the green and Joey Logano did that here in the spring and ended up winning the race. Hopefully we can do that tomorrow.”
Chase Briscoe qualified third and was followed by Logano in fourth and Harrison Burton was fifth in his No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford. Ty Gibbs had the fastest Toyota in seventh in his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing machine and Kyle Larson qualified best in a Chevy in his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports machine at eighth.
Points leader Martin Truex Jr. qualified 16th in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing machine, second place William Byron qualified 18th in his No. 24 Hendrick Chevy, and third-place in the season points standings Kyle Busch qualified 22nd in his No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevy.
Tickets for Sunday night’s Quaker State 400 Available at Walmart are available online at www.AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com or by calling 877-9-AMS-TIX.