In a somewhat rare NASCAR Cup Series qualifying session in 2021, William Byron posted a 132.049-second/110.359 mph lap in the second of two rounds of qualifying at Road America on Sunday morning to start on the pole Sunday afternoon for the Jockey Made in America 250. Sunday’s race was the first NASCAR premier-series race at the Wisconsin road course since the mid-1950s.
Hendrick motorsports swept the front row of the Road America starting grid, as Byron’s teammate and 2021 winningest driver, so far, Kyle Larson, qualified second.
“Yeah, we struggled a little bit off the truck, but we had some good changes in mind, and the #24 Liberty University Chevy was really fast in qualifying,” Byron said. “We were fast in race trim in the last run, and I feel like we just kind of went back to the basics on the road courses. We’ve struggled this year on the road courses and kind of got back to a basic setup and put it all together today. Thank you to Rudy [Fugle, crew chief] and the guys for working really hard. Awesome to see Hendrick Motorsports one-two and on the pole. Great horsepower and great speed, so hopefully, we can keep it up there.”
Chevrolet drivers took the top-four positions on the grid, with NASCAR Xfinity Series regular and part-time Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger in third, sharing row two with Tyler Reddick.
Another Xfinity regular who races only part-time in Cup, Austin Cindric, qualified fifth after posting the fastest lap in the opening round. Allmendinger was second to Cindric in round one. The fastest 12 from round one advanced to round two to set the top-12 starting positions.
“If they gave out anything for leading round one qualifying in NASCAR, I would be a step ahead of the rest,” Cindric said. “I can’t say I know what else to do differently there. I thought we put a good lap together in the second round and maybe just got myself too tight. Overall, it was pretty solid. To be top-five in the Cup Series isn’t anything to shy away from. I haven’t done this a whole lot and am still learning at the same rate. I am just trying to figure out what we can do to set ourselves apart today and be able to have track position and keep our car clean, keep the brakes on it. That is my focus for today. We don’t need points. The only reason to win a Stage is to try to get into the Clash for next year. That is about it for me. I am pretty focused on getting us to the end.”
Qualifying sixth through 10th were Denny Hamlin, Matt DiBenedetto, Ross Chastain, Martin Truex Jr. and Alex Bowman.
Kyle Busch didn’t make a qualifying attempt Sunday. He was forced to a backup car after a practice crash Saturday, so he would’ve started in the back, regardless of how he qualified.
Reigning Cup Series champion Chase Elliott attempted to post a lap time in the first round of qualifying, but two attempts to complete a lap were interrupted by red flags. The red flag was waved twice in the 25-minute opening round, first for Kyle Tilley just over 10 minute into the round, and then, for Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. in the final two minutes of the round.
All 40 cars entered for the race received positions on the starting grid.
JOCKEY MADE IN AMERICA 250 STARTING LINEUP