A rare qualifying session for the NASCAR Cup Series produced a first-time pole sitter for the series’ first-ever race at Circuit of the Americas, Sunday’s EchoPark Texas Grand Prix. Tyler Reddick posted a 2:12.911 [92.363 mph] lap in the second of two rounds of qualifying Sunday morning for his first-career Cup Series pole and the first for a Richard Childress Racing driver on a road course since 1996.
“This pole is a huge testament to all the hard work everyone does at RCR, ECR, and Chevrolet,” Reddick said. “Road racing has been a big challenge in my career, and I’ve worked really hard to get better at it. Running yesterday’s NXS race helped me with some valuable seat time, so it’s great to see all that hard work come together with a pole. It’s a great way to start the day in our Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet and, hopefully, get Chevrolet their 800th win in NASCAR.”
Another Chevrolet driver, Kyle Larson, will start next to Reddick on the front row.
Reddick was among a handful of drivers who got extra seat time during NASCAR’s first weekend at the Austin, Texas, road course by contesting Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the track. Drivers who raced at COTA on Saturday dominated Sunday morning’s qualifying session.
Reddick was second in the opening round, behind Xfinity Series regular A.J. Allmendinger. Allmendinger led round one with a 2:13.490 lap. Of the 12 drivers who advanced from round one to set the first six rows of the starting grid in round two, five ran the Xfinity Series race. Four of those drivers were the four fastest in the opening round, with Xfinity regular Austin Cindric and Xfinity race winner Kyle Busch third and fourth in the opening round.
Cindric and Busch will line up in the second row of Sunday’s Cup Series starting grid, with Cindric third and Busch fourth in round two of qualifying. Kevin Harvick was the other driver from the Xfinity race who advanced the the final round of Cup qualifying. He will start 11th Sunday.
William Byron, who was fastest in a rainy practice session for the Cup Series on Saturday, qualified fifth. He will share row three on the starting grid with Joey Logano.
After posting the fastest time in round one, Allmendinger qualified seventh in round two. He will shar row four with eighth-place qualifier Chase Elliott. Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell, who won the only other road-course race this season, to date, qualified ninth and 10th to start Sunday’s race in row five.
The remaining driver to advance to the final round of qualifying was Alex Bowman, who qualified 12th. Kurt Busch was the fastest among those whose qualifying efforts end in round one. As a result, he’ll start 13th on Sunday.
ECHOPARK TEXAS GRAND PRIX STARTING LINEUP