AVONDALE, Ariz. – In what proved to be an interesting night of qualifying Friday, Chase Elliott left Phoenix International Raceway with the highest starting position of the four Hendrick Motorsports teammates.
The rookie advanced to the second round in his No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS and will take the green flag Sunday from the 17th position.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. did not advance past the first round and will start 26th.
Both Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson laid down good qualifying lap times but incidents involving both drivers resulted in an early end to their qualifying efforts.
Kahne made it through the first round and qualified 24th and Johnson was the only Hendrick Motorsports driver to advance to the final round, qualifying fifth. However, the No. 48 Lowe’s ProServices team will opt for its backup car on Sunday.
“We’ll have to get to the bottom of it and see what went on but just a really hard impact to the outside wall,” Johnson said following qualifying. “Very disappointed because we had such a fast race car and my guys have been working so hard to get this thing tuned up. Thankfully we have tomorrow to work on the backup car to get it up to speed and try to get it going but certainly not what we wanted right now.”
Kyle Busch set the fastest lap time and will start on the pole.