Erik Jones wins pole for playoff opener at Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS -- Erik Jones will open his Cup playoff career on the pole position.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will lead the field to the green Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which will play host to the playoff opener for the first time.
“Definitely can’t start any better than that,” Jones told Marty Snider on NBCSN. “We’ve got a long ways to go this weekend, but we’ve definitely got the speed to do it.”
Joey Logano qualified second, followed by Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top 12 who made the final round.
Truex and Kyle Busch nearly missed the final round before vaulting into the top 12 in the final minute of the second round.
There were five playoff drivers who failed to advance to the final session: Brad Keselowski (13th), Clint Bowyer (15th), Aric Almirola (16th), Jimmie Johnson (17th) and Austin Dillon (18th).
It’s the second career pole position for Jones, who qualified first for the Aug. 19, 2017 race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Jones, 22, earned a berth in the playoffs with his July 7 victory at Daytona International Speedway.