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Jones Starts Playoffs P1

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, September 15 2018

Erik Jones was the king of qualifying In Las Vegas on Friday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Gregg Ellman)

Erik Jones put his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota on the pole for Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – the first event of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

Jones put down his pole-winning lap in 28.705 seconds (188.121 mph). It was his first pole of the season. His time was .003 seconds faster than Team Penske driver Joey Logano (188.101 mph).
“I knew we had a good car in practice, but I didn’t know if we’d get the pole,” Jones said. “The track kind of came to us, and I thought I knew what we needed to do adjustment-wise. We got the (car) where it needed to be and put together a really good lap.

“You can’t start them off any better than that. We have a long ways to go this weekend but we got the speed to do it… I feel like we’ve been kind of under the radar. We’ve been running really well, and we’ve just got to put it together for one really good race. I think we can do that. We’re one to watch.”

Jones’ JGR teammate, Denny Hamlin, qualified third at 187.624 mph, followed by Kyle Busch (187.402 mph) and Kevin Harvick (187.396 mph), as Playoff drivers claimed the top 11 starting positions. The only interloper to make the final round was Jamie McMurray, who ended up 12th after hard contact with the outside wall on his money lap.

With Playoff driver Brad Keselowski having won the last two races and Logano showing excellent speed in all three qualifying rounds, Logano said he was encouraged by his performance in time trials.

“I feel like the field’s pretty close, and I feel comfortable about my car,” Logano said. “I think the Penske cars are all fairly quick, and we’ll work on it some more (in Saturday’s practice).”

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – South Point 400

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas, Nevada

Friday, September 14, 2018

  1. (20)  Erik Jones (P), Toyota, 188.121 mph.
  2. (22)  Joey Logano (P), Ford, 188.101 mph.
  3. (11)  Denny Hamlin (P), Toyota, 187.624 mph.
  4. (18)  Kyle Busch (P), Toyota, 187.402 mph.
  5. (4)  Kevin Harvick (P), Ford, 187.396 mph.
  6. (12)  Ryan Blaney (P), Ford, 187.084 mph.
  7. (9)  Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 186.735 mph.
  8. (41)  Kurt Busch (P), Ford, 186.483 mph.
  9. (88)  Alex Bowman (P), Chevrolet, 186.374 mph.
  10. (78)  Martin Truex Jr. (P), Toyota, 186.098 mph.
  11. (42)  Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet, 185.950 mph.
  12. (1)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 183.125 mph.
  13. (2)  Brad Keselowski (P), Ford, 186.619 mph.
  14. (17)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 186.599 mph.
  15. (14)  Clint Bowyer (P), Ford, 186.580 mph.
  16. (10)  Aric Almirola (P), Ford, 186.548 mph.
  17. (48)  Jimmie Johnson (P), Chevrolet, 186.509 mph.
  18. (3)  Austin Dillon (P), Chevrolet, 186.483 mph.
  19. (19)  Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 186.451 mph.
  20. (21)  Paul Menard, Ford, 186.432 mph.
  21. (24)  William Byron #, Chevrolet, 186.400 mph.
  22. (31)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 185.861 mph.
  23. (6)  Trevor Bayne, Ford, 185.644 mph.
  24. (34)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 184.913 mph.
  25. (95)  Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 185.185 mph.
  26. (32)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 184.938 mph.
  27. (38)  David Ragan, Ford, 184.723 mph.
  28. (37)  Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 184.660 mph.
  29. (47)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 184.603 mph.
  30. (13)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 184.231 mph.
  31. (43)  Bubba Wallace #, Chevrolet, 182.815 mph.
  32. (72)  Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 180.662 mph.
  33. (99)  Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 180.584 mph.
  34. (15)  Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 180.337 mph.
  35. (96)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Toyota, 179.976 mph.
  36. (23)  JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, 179.432 mph.
  37. (00)  Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 178.283 mph.
  38. (51)  BJ McLeod(i), Ford, 177.538 mph.
  39. (66)  Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, 176.085 mph.
  40. (7)  Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
| , RacinToday.com Saturday, September 15 2018
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