NASCAR at Miami 2016 Qualifying Results: Race Order, Final Times and Reaction

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2016

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 18:  Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2016 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

Kevin Harvick might have won the pole for Sunday's Ford Ecoboost 400 during Friday night's qualifying, but all eyes are going to be a little further down in the pack come race day.

Just one race and four drivers remain in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Chase to decipher the champion of 2016, and they're all starting right near each other.

With Sunday's race from Homestead-Miami Speedway, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards had a chance to create an early advantage on Friday with a strong qualifying round.

But Busch and Edwards will start in row No. 5, while Logano and Johnson are in row No. 7.

That means that no Chase driver has a clear advantage as we take a look at the qualifying results and race order:

Ford Ecoboost 400 Qualifying Results
1Kevin Harvick30.399
2Brad Keselowski30.416
3Ryan Newman30.442
4Denny Hamlin30.475
5Chase Elliott30.492
6Martin Truex Jr.30.513
7Matt Kenseth30.594
8Ryan Blaney30.610
9Kyle Busch*30.689
10Carl Edwards*30.749
11Tony Stewart30.861
12AJ Allmendinger30.887
2nd Cut
13Joey Logano*30.571
14Jimmie Johnson*30.635
15Jamie McMurray30.636
16Kurt Busch30.639
17Austin Dillon30.661
18Ricky Stenhouse Jr.30.688
19Alex Bowman30.742
20Trevor Bayne30.763
21Greg Biffle30.854
22Brian Scott30.860
23Casey Mears30.862
24Kyle Larson31.078
1st Cut
25Aric Almirola30.841
26Michael McDowell30.862
27Chris Buescher30.863
28Paul Menard30.876
29Kasey Kahne30.911
30Danica Patrick30.916
31Matt DiiBenedetto30.980
32Landon Cassill31.030
33Clint Bowyer31.043
34Ty Dillon31.071
35Regan Smith31.087
36David Ragan31.299
37Reed Sorenson31.657
38Jeffrey Earnhardt32.012
39Dylan Lupton32.523
40Michael Annett32.558
41Gray Gaulding31.965
*Denotes chase driver

Johnson had to scramble just to make it to the second round after he was bumped from the top 24 with eight minutes left in the first. 

He went back out with 1:40 left in the round while in 29th, but a spin-out from Landon Cassill forced the 48 team to scramble, cool the engine down and get rolling before the green flag came back out. 

He did just that, making the cut by 0.025 seconds to get the No. 22 spot heading into the second round despite a crowded exit on pit row once the track reopened, via NASCAR on NBC:


WOW. Jimmie Johnson played the cards he was dealt and looks like he's advancing to Round 2. #Championship4 https://t.co/xBJjp0GQOw

The second round would be his last of the night, as he qualified in 14th. 

It was all in a day's work for the six-time Sprint Cup champion, via Team Lowe's Racing:

Team Lowe's Racing @LowesRacing

"What's a championship race without a little drama?" @JimmieJohnson setting the scene. https://t.co/HPrpzSJ6oj

Joey Logano also saw his qualifying night end early, as he finished one spot better than Johnson in 13th. 

It seemed as though Logano was trying to convince everyone that he was content with his qualifying spot, via Lee Spencer of Motorsport.com:

Lee Spencer @CandiceSpencer

"It's not that bad, we'll be ok," says @joeylogano P13 #NASCAR

Edwards was first to hit the track in the final round, but a tight run saw him set a slow time that was surpassed by the next five drivers who went out. 

He heaped all the blame on himself after his round, via Joe Gibbs Racing:

Joe Gibbs Racing 🚗🏁 @JoeGibbsRacing

"I messed that up a little. Our @ARRIS #Toyota #Camry is fast" - #CarlEdwards

Busch took off near the end of the round but didn't fare much better as he got loose on a pair of turns, throwing up sparks and slowing his time.

An unresponsive car is what held him back from doing even better, via Joe Gibbs Racing:

Joe Gibbs Racing 🚗🏁 @JoeGibbsRacing

"Our car is really free. We didn't qualify where we wanted to today." - @KyleBusch @mmschocolate #ToyotaNation

Like Logano and Johnson, Busch and Edwards will start back-to-back in ninth and 10th, respectively.

With such a tightly packed foursome of potential champions, expect even more drama on Sunday, as each driver won't hold anything back in an attempt to get to the front of the pack. 

All qualifying did was ensure that they will interact with each other even earlier than expected with a championship at stake. 


Stats courtesy of NASCAR.com


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