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For the second time in his career and first time in a decade, Paul Menard has won a pole.
Menard posted the fastest time during the Overton’s 400 qualifying on Saturday, with Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch rounding out the top five.
Below is a look at the qualifying results for Sunday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway.
2018 Overton’s 400 Starting Lineup
1. Paul Menard (29.998)
2. Ryan Blaney (30.020)
3. Chase Elliott (30.042)
4. Denny Hamlin (30.044)
5. Kurt Busch (30.076)
6. Clint Bowyer (30.085)
7. Aric Almirola (30.124)
Brad Keselowski (30.152)
9. William Byron (30.158)
10. Erik Jones (30.197)
*Full order can be viewed on NASCAR’s official website.
Menard managed to just edge Blaney by 0.022 with a late push:
NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC
Paul Menard went hard.
He’ll start first in Sunday’s @NASCAR Cup Series race at @ChicagolndSpdwy. Pre-race coverage begins at Noon ET on @NBCSN, with the Cup race scheduled to start at 2:30. https://t.co/FPw0pHbrDZ
With that, he ended a long drought of not winning a pole. Just how long of a drought? His last pole came on July 4, 2008, at Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero 400. That was his first, and, up until Saturday, his only career pole.
Afterward, he the 37-year-old talked about the accomplishment:
It’s been nearly 10 years since the #NardDog captured his first and only pole. #BuschPole https://t.co/sYhpp9uEDN
Chicagoland Speedway @ChicagolndSpdwy
LISTEN UP 🔈🔈🔈
#PaulMenard is PUMPED about winning the #ICASHQualifying pole for Sunday’s #Overtons400 💪 https://t.co/0zbXFdsQ6E
Menard is now in good position to rebound from a 26th-place finish at last week’s Toyota/Save Mart 350. He is, on the other hand, just two races removed from his best result of the season, a fifth-place finish at Michigan International Speedway. He entered the weekend 17th in the points standings.
Meanwhile, NASCAR’s overall points leader, Kyle Busch, had a rough day. The No. 18 car will start in the 18th spot.
Fresh off a victory at Sonoma Raceway last week, Martin Truex Jr. managed to make it to the final round of qualifying. However, he was not able to keep up, putting himself in the 12th spot to start on Sunday.
The Overton’s 400 gets underway at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET.