NASCAR at Las Vegas 2018 Qualifying Results: Erik Jones Takes Pole Position

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 14:  Erik Jones, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, drives during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Series South Point Hotel and Casino 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 14, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Erik Jones took home the pole after Friday's qualifying for the 2018 South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the first race of the NASCAR playoffs. 

Joining Jones on the front row will be Joey Logano. This marks the first pole victory for Jones this season and the second of his NASCAR career after the 2017 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. 

Here is the full starting lineup for Sunday's round of 16 race, via NASCAR.com:

Row 1: Erik Jones (pole-winner), Joey Logano

Row 2: Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch

Row 3: Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney

Row 4: Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch

Row 5: Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr. 

Row 6: Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray

Row 7: Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 

Row 8: Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola

Row 9: Jimmie Johnson, Austin Dillon

Row 10: Daniel Suarez, Paul Menard

Row 11: William Byron, Ryan Newman

Row 12: Trevor Bayne, Michael McDowell

Row 13: Regan Smith, Matt DiBenedetto

Row 14: David Ragan, Chris Buescher

Row 15: A.J. Allmendinger, Ty Dillon

Row 16: Bubba Wallace, Corey LaJoie

Row 17: Kyle Weatherman, Ross Chastain

Row 18: Jeffrey Earnhardt, J.J. Yeley

Row 19: Landon Cassill, B.J. McLeod

Row 20: Timmy Hill, Reed Sorensen

NASCAR tweaked its racing schedule for the playoffs. Last year, Chicago hosted the first Monster Energy Series round of 16 event. Las Vegas gets the honors in 2018. It also marks the track's second event of the year after Kevin Harvick won the Pennzoil 400 in March. 

Jones, who begins the playoffs in 10th place in the standings and 45 points off the lead, is chasing his second victory of the year. He came all the way from the 29th position to win at Daytona in July. 

Taking part in the postseason for the first time in his young career, Jones admitted prior to qualifying he was still adjusting to the added pressure. 

“Making sure you’re doing everything you need to do to be locked in and riding, ready to go," Jones told NBC’s Dave Burns (via NBC Sports' Dan Beaver). "There’s so many things you … can’t control, but you want to do everything in your power to make sure you’re doing the right thing.”

Logano understands that pressure after finishing second in the standings in 2016. He came within an eyelash of catching Jones with a lap time of 28.708 seconds, just .003 seconds behind the lead. 

Las Vegas has historically been a good track for Logano. The 28-year-old has finished in the top 10 at five straight races on this track. 

Not far behind the front-row pairing will be points leaders Kyle Busch and Harvick. The duo qualified fourth and fifth, respectively, as they look to create separation from each other. They are currently tied with 2,050 points, but Harvick's seven wins this year lead the Monster Energy circuit. 

With the starting grid set, all 40 drivers in the field will turn their attention toward race day Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. 

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