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Allmendinger Blasts To Pole At Sonoma

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, June 27 2015
A.J. Allmendinger and his team celebrate the winning of the Sprint Cup race pole at Sonoma on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Andrew Coppley)

A.J. Allmendinger and his team celebrate the winning of the Sprint Cup race pole at Sonoma on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Andrew Coppley)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

A.J. Allmendinger, looking to earn a second-straight berth in the Sprint Cup playoffs, won the pole for Sunday’s race at the Sonoma Raceway road circuit on Saturday afternoon.

sprint-logo-08Allmendinger, who earned his 2014 Chase berth by winning at the Watkins Glen International road circuit, lapped Sonoma in 1 minute, 14.385 seconds (96.310 mph).

The JTG/Daugherty driver’s pole-winning laps was a.166 seconds faster than Kurt Busch (96.095 mph) of Stewart-Haas Racing, who will start on the front row.

Matt Kenseth (96.001 mph) qualified third, followed by Kyle Larson (95.932 mph), who set a track record at 96.568 mph in the first round of knockout qualifying, a 25-minute session that narrowed the field from 44 drivers to the
fastest 12.

Jeff Gordon (95.905 mph) will start fifth in his final race at Sonoma as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver.

“It’s a solid start, but the prize is tomorrow,” said Allmendinger, who earned the third Coors Light Pole Award of his career and his first on a road course. The pole was Allmendinger’s first since he started from the top spot in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford at Kansas in April 2012.

“We knew that, if we go do our job, and if I do my job tomorrow, and we have solid pit stops, and we just take care of business, at the end we should give ourselves a chance,” Allmendinger added. “And that’s all we can ask for.”

Busch thought he had a shot at the pole.


“It’s a nice package that (crew chief) Tony Gibson gave me, and all the guys back at the shop,” Busch said. “Thanks to them for building this special car for a road course race. There was a little apprehension coming in, because we didn’t have testing sessions or any kind of shakedown sessions.

“And so, to be outside pole with the Haas Automation Chevy, that’s awesome. That’s what we wanted. And now we’ve got all kinds of strategy plays to figure out to get into race mode. So, we did our job. We’re on the front row.”


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying – Toyota – Save Mart 350

Sonoma Raceway

Sonoma, California

Saturday, June 27, 2015


  1. (47)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 96.310 mph.
  2. (41)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 96.095 mph.
  3. (20)  Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 96.001 mph.
  4. (42)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 95.932 mph.
  5. (24)  Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 95.905 mph.
  6. (15)  Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 95.884 mph.
  7. (14)  Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 95.663 mph.
  8. (13)  Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 95.563 mph.
  9. (55)  David Ragan, Toyota, 95.497 mph.
  10. (2)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 95.298 mph.
  11. (18)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 95.293 mph.
  12. (78)  Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 95.177 mph.
  13. (48)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 95.756 mph.
  14. (19)  Carl Edwards, Toyota, 95.733 mph.
  15. (11)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 95.554 mph.
  16. (31)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 95.531 mph.
  17. (4)  Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 95.477 mph.
  18. (1)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 95.436 mph.
  19. (22)  Joey Logano, Ford, 95.417 mph.
  20. (88)  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 95.390 mph.
  21. (10)  Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 95.366 mph.
  22. (16)  Greg Biffle, Ford, 95.345 mph.
  23. (95)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 95.336 mph.
  24. (9)  Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 95.208 mph.
  25. (43)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 95.084 mph.
  26. (5)  Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 95.006 mph.
  27. (51)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 94.920 mph.
  28. (38)  David Gilliland, Ford, 94.841 mph.
  29. (35)  Cole Whitt, Ford, 94.805 mph.
  30. (83)  Matt DiBenedetto #, Toyota, 94.714 mph.
  31. (6)  Trevor Bayne, Ford, 94.534 mph.
  32. (27)  Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 94.527 mph.
  33. (32)  Boris Said(i), Ford, 94.477 mph.
  34. (23)  JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, 94.441 mph.
  35. (34)  Justin Marks(i), Ford, 94.320 mph.
  36. (33)  Alex Kennedy #, Chevrolet, 94.132 mph.
  37. (3)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, Owner Points
  38. (98)  Josh Wise, Chevrolet, Owner Points
  39. (40)  Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, Owner Points
  40. (17)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, Owner Points
  41. (7)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, Owner Points
  42. (46)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, Owner Points
  43. (26)  Jeb Burton #, Toyota, Owner Points


1 drivers failed to qualify.


  1. (62)  Brendan Gaughan(i), Chevrolet, 91.927 mph.


| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, June 27 2015
One Comment

One Comment »

  • echo says:

    How many points does winning qualifying get you ! Ryan Newman beat Jimmie Johnson out for rookie of the year way back when, because he won a lot of poles. Jimmie now has 6 championships and 74 cup wins and Newman, he’s just hangin around still. wooo hooo poles don’t mean a thing AJ, you need a win.