Talladega NASCAR: Almirola on pole after rain cancels qualifying

Aric Almirola will start Sunday's Talladega NASCAR Sprint Cup race from pole position after qualifying was rained off on Saturday afternoon

Talladega NASCAR: Almirola on pole after rain cancels qualifying

Scattered rain showers had been falling around the circuit for much of the day and a light drizzle turned into a brief downpour prior to the session beginning, leading to a one-hour delay before the decision was made not to run.

As a result, drivers will start the sixth Chase round based on their first practice times.

Almirola, who is without regular crew chief Todd Parrott this weekend, topped the opening session with a blistering lap of 47.406s (202.000mph) around the 2.66-mile circuit.

The Richard Petty Ford driver was one of 11 to break the 200mph barrier during practice thanks to the cars running in drafting packs.

Jeff Burton will start alongside him, with Marcos Ambrose and Martin Truex Jr sharing the second row.

Fifth goes to Carl Edwards while Greg Biffle is the highest-placed Chase competitor in sixth.

Points leader Matt Kenseth shares the sixth row with title rival Jimmie Johnson. Kevin Harvick - third in the standings - is a lowly 34th.

Pos Driver              Team/Car                     Time     Gap	      
 1. Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                   47.406s                
 2. Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet          47.409s  +0.003s       
 3. Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                   47.435s  +0.029s       
 4. Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota               47.440s  +0.034s       
 5. Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford            47.499s  +0.093s       
 6. Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford            47.561s  +0.155s       
 7. David Ragan         Front Row Ford               47.602s  +0.196s       
 8. Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet           47.620s  +0.214s       
 9. Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet  47.625s  +0.219s       
10. Casey Mears         Germain Ford                 47.663s  +0.257s       
11. Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet           47.856s  +0.450s       
12. Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota             48.002s  +0.596s       
13. Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                  48.006s  +0.600s       
14. Josh Wise           Front Row Ford               48.020s  +0.614s       
15. Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota             48.038s  +0.632s       
16. Austin Dillon       Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       48.039s  +0.633s       
17. Ryan Newman         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       48.075s  +0.669s       
18. Sam Hornish Jr      Penske Ford                  48.079s  +0.673s       
19. Joey Logano         Penske Ford                  48.081s  +0.675s       
20. Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet           48.100s  +0.694s       
21. Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota               48.113s  +0.707s       
22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford            48.157s  +0.751s       
23. Michael Waltrip     Waltrip Toyota               48.173s  +0.767s       
24. Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       48.239s  +0.833s       
25. David Gilliland     Front Row Ford               48.283s  +0.877s       
26. David Reutimann     BK Toyota                    48.294s  +0.888s       
27. Trevor Bayne        Wood Brothers Ford           48.310s  +0.904s       
28. Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota             48.429s  +1.023s       
29. Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet           48.456s  +1.050s       
30. Bobby Labonte       JTG Daugherty Toyota         48.462s  +1.056s       
31. Kurt Busch          Furniture Row Chevrolet      48.479s  +1.073s       
32. Cole Whitt          Swan Toyota                  48.484s  +1.078s       
33. Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet  48.556s  +1.150s       
34. Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet          48.639s  +1.233s       
35. Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet          48.842s  +1.436s       
36. Justin Allgaier     Phoenix Chevrolet            50.112s  +2.706s       
37. Michael McDowell    Parsons Ford                 50.631s  +3.225s       
38. JJ Yeley            Baldwin Chevrolet            50.723s  +3.317s       
39. Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota                    50.804s  +3.398s       
40. Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevrolet            50.912s  +3.506s       
41. Terry Labonte       JTG Daugherty Toyota         51.096s  +3.690s       
42. Tony Raines         Hillman Chevrolet            51.223s  +3.817s       
43. Joe Nemechek        NEMCO Toyota                 51.407s  +4.001s       
44. Landon Cassill      Circle Sport Chevrolet       51.904s  +4.498s       
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