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William Byron Posts Fastest Lap of Weekend, Claims Pole Position for Sunday’s Verizon 200 at Indy RC

William Byron, driver of the #24 Axalta Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE races to a fourth place finish Sunday, May 16, 2021 during the NASCAR Cup Series Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)

It’s been a career year for fourth-year driver William Byron at Hendrick Motorsports, collecting a victory and eight top-five finishes while also re-learning the ins and outs of a rookie NASCAR Cup Series crew chief. In Sunday’s Verizon 200 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Road Course, the 23-year-old will look to further stake his claim as a legitimate championship contender with a victory.

Byron, piloting the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro for Hendrick Motorsports, claimed his seventh career pole in the NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday Morning, posting the fastest lap of the weekend at 87.765 seconds, the first lap to record an average speed of over 100mph.

Chase Briscoe – the winner of the inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series event at the road course — will start in second, with Chase Elliott rounding out the top-three. After winning the 60th annual Knoxville Nationals last night, Kyle Larson brought his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro home in the fourth spot in the second round of qualifying, with Daniel Suarez rounding out the top-five.

Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano, AJ Allmendinger, Ross Chastain, Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick, and Michael McDowell each earned starting spots inside the top-12, the result of posting a fast enough time to move into the second round of qualifying.

While the session featured no full-course cautions, there was one incident once the clock expired that could have become scary for a number of people, when Corey Lajoie, still up to speed and on a flying lap, approached a safety truck, having to make an evasive move to avoid making contact.

Video: Corey LaJoie Avoids Safety Truck That Wandered Onto Indy Road Course During Qualifying

While the session seemed routine, a number of top-tier drivers and teams will find themselves starting further back in the pack than expected, including Denny Hamlin (14th), Ryan Blaney (16th), Christopher Bell (17th), Aric Almirola (18th), Kurt Busch (20th), Kyle Busch (21st), Austin Dillon (23rd), Alex Bowman (24th), Kevin Harvick (25th), and Brad Keselowski (31st).

The Verizon 200 – the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series event on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Road Course — will begin at 1:00pm | ET on NBC.

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