NASCAR at California 2019 Qualifying Results: Austin DIllon Takes Pole Position

Megan ArmstrongContributor IIIMarch 15, 2019

FONTANA, CA - MARCH 15:  Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Coatings Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 15, 2019 in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Austin Dillon emerged as the pole-sitter Friday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, claiming the pole for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400.

Kevin Harvick will start alongside Dillon on the front row, while Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano round out the top five in the starting lineup. 

While Dillon dominated the second round of qualifying, the headliner of the day became the third round after all cars failed to make a third-round qualifying lap.

The Auto Club 400 will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday and can be watched on Fox.

Take a look below at the starting lineup for Sunday's main event and a recap of Friday's action. 

      

2019 Auto Club 400 Lineup

1. Austin Dillon

2. Kevin Harvick

3. Aric Almirola

4. Kyle Busch

5. Joey Logano

6. Denny Hamlin

7. Ryan Newman

8. Chase Elliott

9. Clint Bowyer

10. Ryan Blaney

11. Jimmie Johnson

12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

View full qualifying results at NASCAR's official website

      

Recap 

Prior to the race, NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon gave insight from the FS1 broadcast booth into how the up to 30 mph wind gusts could impact drivers.

"What's unique about the wind to me is the direction of the wind," he said. "Normally, it runs east to west or west to east down these straightaways. No, it's gonna affect these cars a lot in the corners."

It turned out the wind was the least of drivers' concerns.

Chase Elliott spun out of Turn 2 in the first round of qualifying due to track conditions, causing the red flag to come out. Elliott was allowed to change his tires.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver finished the first round in third, while 2018 Auto Club Speedway winner Martin Truex Jr. failed to advance to Round 2 and will start 27th. 

Round 2 was stalled significantly by a bizarre traffic jam on pit road, but every car ultimately made the flag:

More of the same came in Round 3, except that no car made it to the line after yet another stalled sequence on pit road. Times from Round 2 were the deciding factors, and Dillon earned his first pole of the season. The Chevrolet driver won both rounds of qualifying.

The Richard Childress Racing driver's best speed was 180.081 mph and clocked his best time at 39.982 seconds. The No. 3 car is coming off finishing 21st in Sunday's TicketGuardian 500. Prior to winning the pole Friday, the 2018 Daytona 500 winner's best starting position of 2019 was fourth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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