FORT WORTH, Texas – For the second time this season, Hendrick Motorsports swept the front row in qualifying with Jimmie Johnson earning the pole and William Byron securing the outside pole.
In fact, the organization swept the top-three starting positions for Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway with Chase Elliott capturing the third starting spot – his best start at Texas.
This is Hendrick Motorsports’ seventh pole at Texas and the second time this season the organization will lead the field to the green flag. Sunday’s race will mark the first time since October 2015 at Talladega Superspeedway where the organization will start one-two-three in a race. It is also the organization’s 217th pole victory.
Friday produced a solid day for Johnson and the Kevin Meendring-led team. Not only did they start the day off by capping the lone practice session off by finishing at the top of the speed chart, they were the fastest car in all three rounds of qualifying. This is the 12th time a driver has swept all three rounds in qualifying and the second time this season.
“We were very aggressive coming here, changing a lot of stuff around in our mile-and-a-half program and topping the charts all day long,” Johnson said after hopping out of his No. 48 Chevrolet and earning his 36th career pole and second at the 1.5-mile Fort Worth track. “It’s a great start for the Ally team. I'm really proud of everybody for keeping the faith and working hard.”
Byron’s second-place starting spot marks his second-best career start – his best start came earlier this year when he won the Daytona 500 pole.
"That is just a credit to the guys really, just giving us a fast car,” stated Byron. “Teamwork man! Just keeping the communication going to get out of that hole that we did. It’s all good; it’s awesome!"
Alex Bowman qualified 24th but will start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field after making contact with the wall during Round 1 of qualifying that resulted in the No. 88 team moving to its back-up car.
Sunday’s 334-lap race at Texas Motor Speedway takes place at 3 p.m. ET and will broadcast live on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.