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Ryan Blaney wins pole for Pocono 400


during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 1, 2018 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

Jared C. Tilton

Ryan Blaney won the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Pocono Raceway, earning his second pole of the season.

Blaney snatched the pole from Kevin Harvick with a top speed of 176.897 mph. His first pole this season came at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The Team Penske driver is the defending winner of the Pocono 400.

“We always say it’s hard to do this three-round deal because you have to keep improving your car,” Blaney told Fox Sports 2. “You can never just leave it alone. We changed stuff from round-to-round. We made a great, great change right before the last round to figure out what we need. I didn’t hit Turn 1 very good my first two rounds and finally figured out a better way to get through there.”

MORE: Ryan Blaney: Struggles with fast cars has been “like and extra slap in the face”

Harvick has started on the front row in four of the last five races.

“I thought we did a really good job of trying to pick a pace and trying not to be a hero on every lap and we were able to pick up a tenth in each round,” Harvick said. “We got a little loose there in (Turn) 3 and I didn’t want to tug on the wheel any more just because of the fact I didn’t want it to get any looser so I just let it slide to the center and had to wait and gave up a good solid tenth there.”

The top five is completed by Jamie McMurray, Martin Truex Jr., and Kyle Busch.

McMurray will start in the top five for the first time this season. Busch will start in the top five for the fourth consecutive race.

Kyle Larson will start 13th. He is followed by Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson, William Byron and Brad Keselowski.

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