By Matt Courson, Staff Writer
HAMPTON, Ga. — Aric Almirola claimed his fourth Busch Light Pole Award at Atlanta Saturday.
Almirola’s lap time of 31.261 seconds in the final round of qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway netted the driver his first pole in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since the 2012 Coca-Cola 600.
“Here, with the track starting to degrade some over the winter, and now we’re in the hot summer months of July in Atlanta, the car’s a handful to try to run wide-open… A lot more nerve-wracking, much like it was with the Gen 6 car when you’re absolutely flying around here, slipping and sliding on that old surface.
“It was an exciting lap—we’ve been working really hard to bring more speed to the race track, and it’s great to get a pole.
Ryan Blaney, Chase Briscoe, Joey Logano, and Harrison Burton rounded out the top-five.
Chase Elliott, the July 2021 Atlanta race winner, will start 23rd. Ty Gibbs, the highest qualifying rookie, will start 7th.
Bubba Wallace said he experienced a mechanical issue after spinning during qualifying. He was unable to complete a lap and will start from the rear of the field in 37th.
The Quaker State 400 will be televised Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on FOX.