Chase Elliott leads Hendrick sweep in Talladega qualifying

ABC News Sports 1 day ago

Chase Elliott rebounded from last week's devastating engine failure to lead a Hendrick Motorsports sweep in qualifying for Sunday's playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Elliott turned a lap at 192.552 mph in Saturday qualifying to give Chevrolet the front two rows. Elliott, winner of the April race at the Alabama track, bested Hendrick teammates Alex Bowman, William Byron and Jimmie Johnson in the qualifying session. Bowman and Byron are both challenging Elliott for the seven remaining spots in the next round of the NASCAR's playoffs.

"To have all for Hendrick cars 1-2-3-4 was really sharp," Elliott said. "We'll try to stay with our friends as long as we can tomorrow and try to stay out of trouble."

Elliott last week dropped below the cutline when his engine failed in the opening laps at Dover. He's in the bottom four of the standings with Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Blaney with Talladega and next week's race at Kansas to whittle down the field to eight.

Sunday is expected to be a race with a heavy emphasis on manufacturer alignments as Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota have ordered their teams to work together. Elliott ended a seven-race Ford winning streak in April, and now has four Chevrolets at the front of the field.

But defending race winner Aric Almirola qualified fifth in a pack of six Fords that includes his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Bowyer, as well as Team Penske drivers Blaney and Logano.

"It's kind of hard to figure out what's going to happen," Blaney said. "You can plan all you want, but sometimes things don't go according to plan, so you just try to stay up front, try to stay in a spot to where you have a chance at the end of one of these things."

Erik Jones was the highest-qualifying Toyota driver at 11th.

Elliott noted that the plan for manufacturer alliances could be challenged by the starting lineup.

"I've got three teammates behind you, but then not a lot of Chevrolets back behind that for a little while," Elliott said. "So, there are a bunch of other guys stacked in between us. So, we'll see. I'm sure these games will be played pretty early. And hopefully we can stay up front and grab some stage points and hopefully get a win."

Denny Hamlin will start last after his engine failed on his qualifying lap. He was actually thrilled with the timing, because if the engine was ill, it is far better for the Daytona 500 that it failed on his qualifying lap and not as soon as the race began.

"We were 15 seconds from finishing dead last in this race, so I am very, very fortunate that it happened right there at the end of the lap," Hamlin said. "We're going to be starting in last, but we'll get through there and be fine by the time the race gets going."

———

More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports


Source link
Read also:
USA Today › Sports › 1 day ago
Chase Elliott rebounded from last week's devastating engine failure to lead a Hendrick Motorsports sweep in qualifying for the playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway
The New York Times › Sports › 11 hours ago
Chase Elliott will lead his three Hendrick Motorsports teammates to the green flag for Sunday's playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.
USA Today › Sports › 11 hours ago
Chase Elliott to lead 3 Hendrick Motorsports teammates to green flag for playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway
ABC News › Sports › 11 hours ago
Chase Elliott to lead 3 Hendrick Motorsports teammates to green flag for playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway
USA Today › Sports › 2 weeks ago
Elliott led a banner day for Hendrick Motorsports as teammates Alex Bowman finished second, while four drivers were eliminated from the playoffs.
USA Today › Sports › 2 weeks ago
William Byron and Alex Bowman led Hendrick Motorsports to a sweep of the front row in qualifying on The Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the first elimination race in NASCAR's playoffs
ABC News › Sports › 2 weeks ago
William Byron and Alex Bowman led Hendrick Motorsports to a sweep of the front row in qualifying on The Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the first elimination race in NASCAR's playoffs
Concord Monitor › Sports › 2 days ago
TALLADEGA, Ala. – Denny Hamlin climbed from his car at Talladega Superspeedway and was shocked to learn he had not only topped the speed chart, but reached nearly 205 mph in pacing practice.“It really caught me off guard,” Hamlin said Friday...
Concord Monitor › Sports › 1 day ago
TALLADEGA, Ala. – The first loser at Talladega Superspeedway better not have been hung out to dry in the closing laps by a teammate.And in the case of Sunday’s race, teammates will have a far wider definition.Manufacturers have taken steps to...
Concord Monitor › Sports › 6 hours ago
TALLADEGA, Ala. – William Byron and his fellow playoff contenders are getting an extra day of suspense at Talladega Superspeedway.NASCAR postponed the final two race stages until Monday after rain forced a halt moments after Byron won the first stage...
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR