It’s been seven-plus years since Joey Logano’s first – and only – road course victory in the NASCAR Cup Series. However, the Team Penske driver is looking to snap that long drought, just in time to secure a spot into the ‘Round of 8’.
Piloting the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang, Logano put himself in prime position to snag the victory in Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400, winning the pole for the final race of the ‘Round of 12’.
Logano’s lap time of 80.755 seconds (103.424mph) wasn’t just the fastest of the second round of qualifying on Saturday, but was the fastest throughout the entire session, landing the Middletown, Connecticut native his 25th career pole in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Just missing out on the pole position for Sunday’s contest was William Byron, who notched his first front-row starting spot since Richmond earlier this year, just days after a penalty from Texas was amended, returning 25 points to the Hendrick Motorsports driver’s Playoff hopes.
Daniel Suarez secured a third-place starting spot in Saturday’s qualifying session, providing some positive reassurance to the Trackhouse Racing organization, with the No. 99 only entering Charlotte 12 points above the cutline.
Tyler Reddick put down the fourth-quickest time in the second round of qualifying, while Rookie of The Year contender Austin Cindric recorded yet another top-five starting spot in fifth-place.
Ryan Blaney, AJ Allmendinger, Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott, and Ross Chastain completed the top-10 in Saturday’s qualifying session by advancing to the second round of qualifying.
However, for Chastain, his second-round lap went awry when his Worldwide Express Chevrolet Camaro slid off the track while on his timed lap, which caused the Florida driver to slam into the tire barriers, forfeiting his flying lap.
Kyle Larson (19th), Chase Briscoe (20th), and Denny Hamlin (24th) were all unable to advance to the second round of qualifying, meaning they’ll have to recover from mid-pack starting spots if they’re hoping to score a substantial number of points.
Making his NASCAR Cup Series debut, Conor Daly will start the race from 39th, after slamming the wall in the closing minutes of NASCAR Cup Series practice, with reports of a total loss of steering in his The Money Team Racing entry.