NASCAR is holding its first road race of the 2022 Cup Series season this weekend. Qualifying for the race, the Echopark Automotive Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas outside Austin, Texas, took place Saturday.
Ten drivers advanced to the final round of qualifying after an initial round of time-trial runs on the 3.41-mile COTA circuit.
Six road races are on the The 2022 Cup Series schedule: at COTA, Sonoma, Road America, Indianapolis, Watkins Glen and the Charlotte ROVAL.
Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at COTA?
Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney earned the pole position with a qualifying speed of 92.759 mph. He did that despite crashing in practice and damaging the left side of his car.
“Talk about an up-and-down day for sure, from putting it in the barriers on my third lap and not knowing if the car was killed, if we would have to go to a backup, what it was going to take to fix it,” he said, per NASCAR.com.
Blaney had to sweat out the qualifying run of TrackHouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez, who turned in a lap of 92.741 mph. That run earned Suarez the second spot on the grid for Sunday’s race (3:49 p.m. ET green flag; Fox, TSN, PRN).
This is Blaney’s second pole of the season. He qualified first for the March 13 race at Phoenix.
Starting lineup for COTA race
The field for Sunday’s race includes a handful of road-course specialists: AJ Allmendinger, Loris Hezemans, Boris Said, Joey Hand and Andy Lally. Allmendinger is racing full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Kaz Grala is making his second start of the season. He’s driving for TMT Racing, the organization backed by boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. Grala qualified for the Daytona 500 in February and finished 26th.
|Starting pos.||Driver||Car No.||Team|
|1||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|2||Daniel Suarez||99||TrackHouse Racing|
|3||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|4||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|5||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|6||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|7||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|8||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|9||Justin Haley||31||Kaulig Racing|
|10||Austin Cindric||2||Team Penske|
|11||Kurt Busch||45||23XI Racing|
|12||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|13||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|14||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|15||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|16||Ross Chastain||1||TrackHouse Racing|
|17||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|18||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|19||Harrison Burton||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|20||AJ Allmendinger||16||Kaulig Racing|
|21||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|22||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing|
|23||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing|
|24||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|25||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|26||Brad Keselowski||6||Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing|
|27||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|28||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|29||Todd Gilliland||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|30||Erik Jones||43||Petty GMS Motorsports|
|31||Kaz Grala||50||TMT Racing|
|32||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports|
|33||Ty Dillon||42||Petty GMS Motorsports|
|34||Josh Bilicki||77||Spire Motorsports|
|35||Cody Ware||51||Rick Ware Racing|
|36||Loris Hezemans||27||Team Hezeberg|
|37||Boris Said||66||Motorsports Business Management|
|38||Joey Hand||15||Rick Ware Racing|
|39||Andy Lally||78||Live Fast Motorsports|