NASCAR Axalta 400 in Pocono starting lineup for Sprint Cup

Image courtesy of @TalladegaSuperS.

A full afternoon of practice and qualifying led to a controversial finish leading up to the Axalta 400. Kurt Busch won the pole with a final speed of 177.599 mph, but only took the top spot after five drivers failed to qualify in the third round.

When Denny Hamlin spun out during his qualifying run, the red flag was waved with only 39 seconds remaining. Qualifying was ended at that point since it requires more than 39 seconds—Busch’s lap time was 50.676 seconds—and the order was set.

The top seven qualifiers, starting with Busch and Carl Edwards on the front row, were all shuffled in their order of time in the last round. Meanwhile, the five cars that didn’t make time in the third leg will start in order of their second-round laps.

“Don’t y’all throw me under the bus,” Hamlin said after the red flag ending qualifying. “It ain’t my fault you guys waited so long!”

One thing’s for sure, those four cars that were behind Hamlin—Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Kasey Kahne—will enter the track earlier next week. For now, they’ll have to settle for charging their way up to the front row the old fashioned way.

Here’s a look at the full starting order for the Axalta 400 in Pocono:

  1. Kurt Busch
  2. Carl Edwards
  3. Martin Truex Jr.
  4. Jeff Gordon
  5. Kevin Harvick
  6. Austin Dillon
  7. Brad Keselowski
  8. Denny Hamlin
  9. Jimmie Johnson
  10. Kyle Busch
  11. Joey Logano
  12. Kasey Kahne
  13. Ryan Newman
  14. Jamie McMurray
  15. Kyle Larson
  16. Paul Menard
  17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  18. Casey Mears
  19. Matt Kenseth
  20. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  21. David Ragan
  22. Danica Patrick
  23. Clint Bowyer
  24. Sam Hornish Jr.
  25. Aric Almirola
  26. A.J. Allmendinger
  27. Greg Biffle
  28. Tony Stewart (Backup Car)
  29. Ty Dillon
  30. Justin Allgaier
  31. Michael Annett
  32. Landon Cassill
  33. Trevor Bayne
  34. Alex Bowman
  35. David Gilliland
  36. Brett Moffitt
  37. J.J. Yeley
  38. Josh Wise
  39. Cole Whitt
  40. Jeb Burton
  41. Matt DiBenedetto
  42. Travis Kvapil
  43. Brendan Gaughan


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