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Ryan Blaney wins pole for Texas Cup race, playoff contenders take next three spots

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 - Qualifying

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 02: Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Accelsla/Carlisle Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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With a lap of 200.505 mph, Ryan Blaney won the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Texas. This is Blaney’s sixth consecutive top-10 start at Texas, but his first pole. He qualified second last spring before finishing 12th.

Blaney’s speed is the second fastest pole ever on a 1.5-mile track behind Kurt Busch (200.915 mph, Texas November 2017).

Clint Bowyer (200.230) was the only other driver to crack the 200 mph mark. Bowyer started third at Texas this spring before finishing ninth.

Kevin Harvick (199.941), Aric Almirola (199.778) and Brad Keselowski (199.527) rounded out the top five.

Other playoff contenders Kurt Busch (199.225) qualified seventh, Joey Logano (199.086) qualified eighth and Kyle Busch (198.705) qualified 10th.

Missing the final round of time trials, playoff contender Martin Truex Jr. (197.962) qualified 13th.

Chase Elliott was the slowest among playoff contenders. His speed of 197.686 mph puts him 16th on the grid. In five starts at Texas, he has started 20th or worse three times but has never finished lower than 11th.

Trying to advance into the Round 2, David Ragan spun into the infield after exiting Turn 4.

The No. 66 entry of Timmy Hill was withdrawn before qualification started.

Click here for Cup qualifying results