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NASCAR Cup Indy RC: Suarez beats Reddick for pole

Daniel Suarez set a blistering pace early in the final round of NASCAR Cup qualifying and held on to claim a very timely pole for Sunday’s Indy Road Course.

Daniel Suarez, Trackhouse Racing, Worldwide Express Chevrolet Camaro

Daniel Suarez, Trackhouse Racing, Worldwide Express Chevrolet Camaro

Ben Earp / NKP / Motorsport Images

Suarez, who remains without a win this season and sits five points outside the playoffs, turned the fastest average lap speed early in the final 10-minute round of Saturday’s qualifying session at 99.814 mph.

Nearly every car – including Suarez – went out in the final minute to make a second attempt but Reddick came up just short (99.649 mph) to knock Suarez off the pole.

The pole is the first of the season for Suarez, who drives the No. 99 Chevrolet for Trackhouse Racing. It is also the third of his career but his first since the 2019 season.

“It feels good, I’m very proud of everyone at Trackhouse Racing,” Suarez said. “On lap one in practice I knew we had a good one, we just had a couple of little things to do better but I’m excited for tomorrow.

“We already know we have the speed, now we need to go out there and execute. I’m very happy with where we’re at, and I can’t wait to see what we can show tomorrow.”

Chase Elliott ended up third quickest (99.399 mph), Michael McDowell was fourth and Kyle Busch will line up fifth.

Completing the top-10 starting order for Sunday’s race are Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen, who previously won on his NASCAR debut in Chicago, Alex Bowman and Ty Gibbs.

Fellow Supercars star Brodie Kostecki will start 11th, Kamui Kobayashi will start 28th, 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button will line up 31st and Mike Rockenfeller will start 37th.

Round 1/Group A

Reddick, who won this event last season, went out late in the first session and ripped off the fastest average lap speed at 99.721 mph.

Suarez was second fastest (99.342 mph), and Elliott third (99.339 mph). Also advancing to the final round of qualifying were Bell and Busch.

Among those who failed to advance were Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe and Chris Buescher, who won the series’ last two races.

“I think we have a really good race car.,” Buescher said. “We’ll have a little bit of work to do but we have a really good piece.”

Round 1/Group B

McDowell, who was fastest in Saturday’s practice, kept up the pace and was fastest in the first round of qualifying (99.881 mph).

Larson was second quickest (99.844 mph), and Bowman was third (99.826 mph). Also advancing to the final round of qualifying were Gibbs and van Gisbergen.

Kostecki was sixth-fastest and trying to crack the top five on his final attempt when he got loose off Turn 11 and hit the wall, which did significant damage to his No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

“I’m pretty disappointed in myself to be honest,” Kostecki said. “I was just finishing my lap a little too hot coming off the banking and now we have damage. The car has speed no doubt, we should be OK for the race.”

Among those who also failed to advance to the final round from Group B were Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and William Byron, who was barred from qualifying after his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet failed inspection three times on Friday.

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