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Joey Logano wins pole for NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas

Marty Snider, Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton reflect on the standout performances from Auto Club Speedway, including Trackhouse and RFK Racing who continued the strong start to their seasons on the West Coast.

Defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano won the pole Saturday for Sunday’s 400-mile race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Logano, who ran 186.053 miles per hour, edged William Byron (185.153) for the first starting spot. Following in the top five were Ryan Blaney, Ty Gibbs and Kyle Busch.

“We felt like we had a pretty good first round, but there are a lot of cars that went quicker in the second round as the track was still cleaning up from practice and the temp actually went down a little bit,” Logano said. “I felt like I had a little bit more in me and if we could tune the car a little maybe there is a little more there and maybe a little more with the track temp going down. You add those things up in your mind, and you think you will be pretty close.

“I had my mind made up when I went out there that I was going to keep it pinned and whatever happens, happens. That was the mindset, and Paul (crew chief Paul Wolfe) gave me a car that could do that. It worked out.”

MORE: Las Vegas Cup starting lineup

MORE: Las Vegas start time, weather forecast, TV information

Josh Berry, replacing the injured Chase Elliott in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet, qualified 32nd for what will be his third Cup Series race. Elliott suffered a leg injury in a Friday snowboarding accident and is expected to miss several races.

Harrison Burton crashed in practice after debris apparently punctured his radiator. He slid into the outside wall, causing major damage to the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford.

“I went sideways really quickly.” Burton said. “I looked at my dash, because I had water temp flash hot… I looked down and then back up to go in the corner, and as soon as I turned in, it was really sideways. ... That sucks so bad. I felt like we had a decent car. It fired off OK with a lot of grip. Then all of a sudden, there wasn’t.”

Tyler Reddick’s car had engine issues, and he missed the qualifying session.