Ryan Blaney takes Kansas pole as 11 fail to pass inspection

Solenn Plantier
Mai 19, 2017

Improving in each round of knockout qualifying in relation to other cars, Ryan Blaney won the pole for Saturday night's Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1), claiming his first career pole by a mere.009 seconds over Joey Logano. Sometimes drivers who grab a victory at a plate race only do well at Daytona or Talladega or were the beneficiary of some good luck. This is the first of Kansas Speedway's two Cup Series races in 2017.

Johnny Sauter avoided trouble all night to finish second and John Hunter Nemecheck was third, while Busch's teammate, Christopher Bell, rallied from a badly timed caution to finish fourth. There wasn't even a caution period - the first time that's happened in this season's first five races.

Truex called a year ago "the biggest heartbreaker", when he had several seconds on the field and came in to pit with 54 laps to go. He took the inside lane, and pulled off a delicate restart with precision. However, Almirola had to be extracted through the roof of his vehicle and was taken to the University of Kansas Medical Center for observation. Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson are listed with 13/2 odds. "That was good. We had a really great Freightliner Elite Support Ford just kept getting caught in adversity there".

"I always went to that race as a little kid, so I like to win at the places where I spent tons of time at growing up and that was one of them". "We were fastest today in race trim practice so if we can make the right adjustments for the night race we'll be in the ballgame". "Charlotte is our home track, and I haven't won a points race there, so I would like to win there. We also won last year's Southern 500 (Darlington) with the blue Auto-Owners Toyota".

"We were having a really good race and having fun out there and had a lot of speed", Patrick said. We've been working really hard at it. It's very cool for me to interact with kids like this because they will become race fans forever, and that's something very special for me. Truex dove to the bottom and roared from the rest of the field, on his way to a ninth career win. Seven of his Cup victories have been with the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing team. This team rocks, man. Cole (Pearn, crew chief) and the entire team here at the track and back at our shop in Denver. "There's a lot of room on this track so we'll be just fine". "I thought we had a pretty decent vehicle". There were times when we looked like we weren't going to have a shot at it.

But with all the jubilation of the victory, Truex was also reflective about the race accident that injured Aric Almirola. After 10 laps, Truex extended his lead over Blaney by 2.3-seconds. He's starting the in the best spot of any of the rookies, and while there's no real reason to expect him to suddenly have the light bulb turn on at this track, that's exactly what makes him a dark horse. The 78 (Truex) got us on that restart, somehow.

"I hope Aric is alright", Logano said. "Definitely thinking about Aric and his family". "These races are so hard to win", said Truex, who had a fluke tire change problem rob him of the win after leading 172 laps past year.

He remains second in driver points but leads the series with 15 playoff bonus points. "It stinks we finished second and still lost points, because we didn't get those stage points".

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