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Atlanta Motor Speedway starting lineup: Michael McDowell wins pole

HAMPTON, GA. — Michael McDowell will lead the Cup Series field to the green flag for Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on Fox).

McDowell, who started on the front row for last week’s Daytona 500, won the pole for the first time in his career with a lap of 178.844 mph. This marks the first time Front Row Motorsports has won the pole since David Gilliland at Daytona 2014.

Joey Logano will start second with a lap of 178.242 mph. Kyle Busch will line up third with a lap of 178.235 mph. Todd Gilliland (178.08 mph) and Kyle Larson (177.829 mph) will round out the top five.

MORE: Atlanta starting lineup

Ryan Blaney (177.658 mph), Chris Buescher (177.176 mph), Austin Cindric (177.147 mph), Chase Briscoe (177.125 mph) and Austin Dillon (177.102 mph) rounded out the top 10.

NASCAR took the roof rail deflectors from the cars of Noah Gragson and Ryan Preece.

Martin Truex Jr. was the fastest Toyota driver. He qualified 12th with a lap of 176.741 mph.

“I think we were obviously way off qualifying last weekend (at the Daytona 500),” Truex said. “We had some things that we as a group needed to do differently and learn some stuff down there to help us. I think (we’re) 12th right now. We were 27th in Daytona. That’s a good step.”

Erik Jones, who finished eighth in the Daytona 500, qualified last after nearly crashing in qualifying. He was able to save his car and complete a lap at 164.554 mph.

Ford drivers took the first eight spots in the starting lineup for last season’s spring race at Atlanta. Logano won the pole. This season, seven Ford drivers made the final round of qualifying.

The green flag for Sunday’s race is scheduled to wave at 3:19 p.m. ET on Fox. Pre-race coverage starts at 2 p.m. ET on Fox.