Ryan Blaney Wins The Pole At Kansas | Bonehead Picks

Ryan Blaney Wins The Pole At Kansas

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2017 looks to be the year of the young guns in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Kyle Larson not only gets his second career victory in the top series, but holds the points lead since Phoenix and even bad finishes don’t phase him. Ricky Stenhouse Jr took the pole and his first career victory at Talladega after 158 races and ends Roush Fenway’s 101 race winless streak. Now another young gun is starting to steal the show for the Go Bowling 400 at Kansas and not making any bones about it.

Ryan Blaney earned his first career pole after 64 starts in the Monster Energy series. Blaney qualified with a speed of 189.600 MPH and a time of 28.481 seconds edging out Joey Logano by .009. He was second fastest behind Martin Truex Jr in the first practice, but fourth in final. Without getting repetitive, maybe it is time to look at the top ten staring lineup and the notable winners.

  1. Ryan Blaney: In only four career Monster Energy races, Blaney has two top tens with a best finish of fifth in last year’s Spring race. With this being his first pole, it will be the third time in five races that Blaney will start from the front row.
  2. Joey Logano: A two-time Kansas winner who picks his spots to get the best finish possible. Logano won the 2014 and 2015 Fall races and during that span has finished in the top five in six of the last seven races at Kansas overall.
  3. Martin Truex Jr: Fifth consecutive top ten start and fourth in the top five. Won last year’s pole and led 172 laps before falling off and finishing 14th. Has finished 11th or worst in the last three Kansas races overall and his best overall finish is second (both 2012 races).
  4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr: Fresh off his win at Talladega, he looks for his first career top ten at Kansas or maybe his second consecutive career win. All eight career finishes were 11th or worst and this is only his fourth career top ten start.
  5. Kyle Busch: Won last year’s race and starts in the top ten for the fifth straight time. Led 69 laps in last year’s race and has finished in the top five in the last five Kansas races . In 2017, he has had several opportunities to clinch his first win. Kyle has gone 26 consecutive races without a victory, last was at Indianapolis last summer.
  6. Kurt Busch: Starts in the top ten for the fourth time in five races and has also finished in the top ten in three of the last four. Since winning the Daytona 500, he has only four top tens in 2017, but has finished in the top ten in the last two.
  7. Denny Hamlin: Won his only Kansas race around this time in 2012. Since his only win, Hamlin has only two top ten finishes in the last eight races. He has now gone 20 straight races without a victory, last one at Richmond in the regular season finale.
  8. Kevin Harvick: Started on the pole three consecutive time and has two wins including last Fall. Between his two wins he has finished in the top two in five of his last seven races at Kansas. Led 74 laps in what was his last trip to victory lane.
  9. Kyle Larson: In only six career starts at Kansas, he has only one top five finish (second in 2014 Fall race). In 2017 has six top tens including five top two finishes where he won at Fontana. Has held the points lead for seven consecutive weeks.
  10. Chase Elliott: In his rookie season he finished ninth in last year’s Spring race and led four laps in the Fall race (31st place finish). Has six top tens in 2017 but finished 24th or worst in the last two. Sat in the top five in points since Atlanta.

Notables: Three-time Kansas winner Jimmie Johnson is among the 11 who failed to make it through inspection during qualifying (29th). Two-time winner Matt Kenseth starts 14th with single time winners Brad Keselowski 17th and Ryan Newman 19th.

 

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