Ragan claims maiden Cup pole

David Ragan claimed his maiden NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole at Texas by leading a Roush Fenway front row sweep ahead of Carl Edwards

Ragan claims maiden Cup pole

Ragan bumped Edwards from pole after running last in the order to complete his qualifying lap, having set the fastest practice time on Thursday afternoon. On his flying lap he was able to run nearly two tenths of a second faster than his team-mate's benchmark, setting a time of 28.448 seconds, at an average speed of 189.820 mph.

"I don't know how we pulled that off but it was really fast," said Ragan who is still looking for his first victory in what will be his 153rd Cup race driving a Roush Ford Fusion. "I have to give credit to our team and [crew chief] Drew Blickensderfer who made a gutsy call.

"We made our last qualifying run in practice and we decided to change the car up a little bit. It stuck and did what it needed to do. I really like this place, it is a fun place to come and it is cool to get a pole here. Hopefully we can turn that into a good run tomorrow."

Edwards, a three-time winner at Texas, starts Saturday night's race as a clear favourite along with his team-mates, all having shown great consistency in race trim during practice. Behind him the Richard Childress Chevrolet of Clint Bowyer was third, ahead of a third Roush Ford of Matt Kenseth while Regan Smith continued to impress with his fifth top-five start in seven races this season.

"We are fast in practice and have three of the top four in qualifying that are Fords," said Edwards. "We are as good now on the 1.5 miles, almost as good as we were in 2005 when we were lights out and won 15 total races or something like that. We are close to that form again and that is good."

Reigning champion Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick) was sixth, ahead of Richard Petty's Marcos Ambrose and the fastest Toyota of Joe Gibbs Racing's Joey Logano. Greg Biffle's ninth place locked all Roush cars in the top 10, while last year's Texas winner Denny Hamlin was only 23rd.

Michael McDowell was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in 20th. Travis Kvapil failed to make the field.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. David Ragan Roush Fenway Ford 28.448s 2. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 28.644s + 0.196s 3. Clint Bowyer Childress Chevrolet 28.688s + 0.240s 4. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford 28.693s + 0.245s 5. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 28.731s + 0.283s 6. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 28.760s + 0.312s 7. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 28.776s + 0.328s 8. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota 28.787s + 0.339s 9. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 28.792s + 0.344s 10. Kurt Busch Penske Dodge 28.815s + 0.367s 11. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota 28.820s + 0.372s 12. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 28.823s + 0.375s 13. Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota 28.841s + 0.393s 14. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 28.850s + 0.402s 15. AJ Allmendinger Petty Ford 28.850s + 0.402s 16. Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Chevrolet 28.870s + 0.422s 17. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 28.870s + 0.422s 18. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 28.874s + 0.426s 19. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 28.893s + 0.445s 20. Michael McDowell HP Toyota 28.902s + 0.454s 21. Mark Martin Hendrick Chevrolet 28.905s + 0.457s 22. Casey Mears Germain Toyota 28.933s + 0.485s 23. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota 28.949s + 0.501s 24. Landon Cassill Phoenix Chevrolet 28.956s + 0.508s 25. David Reutimann Waltrip Toyota 28.969s + 0.521s 26. Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Chevrolet 28.976s + 0.528s 27. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 29.041s + 0.593s 28. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 29.042s + 0.594s 29. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 29.045s + 0.597s 30. Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota 29.052s + 0.604s 31. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 29.068s + 0.620s 32. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 29.098s + 0.650s 33. David Starr Leavine Fenton Ford 29.098s + 0.650s 34. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 29.108s + 0.660s 35. JJ Yeley Whitney Chevrolet 29.143s + 0.695s 36. Mike Skinner Germain Toyota 29.170s + 0.722s 37. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 29.198s + 0.750s 38. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 29.325s + 0.877s 39. Robby Gordon Gordon Dodge 29.409s + 0.961s 40. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 29.462s + 1.014s 41. Ken Schrader FAS Lane Ford 29.772s + 1.324s 42. Tony Raines Front Row Ford 30.147s + 1.699s 43. Andy Lally TRG Chevrolet 29.383s + 0.935s Did not qualify: Travis Kvapil Front Row Ford 29.446s + 0.998s 
shares
comments
Busch: Raikkonen fast in truck tests

Previous article

Busch: Raikkonen fast in truck tests

Next article

Kenseth takes commanding victory

Kenseth takes commanding victory
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021