NASCAR at Talladega 2019 Qualifying Results: Austin Dillon Wins Pole Position

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2019

TALLADEGA, AL - APRIL 26:  Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 26, 2019 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Austin Dillon earned the pole position for Sunday's GEICO 500 by posting the best time in the final round of qualifying Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama.

Aric Almirola will also break from the front row for the 10th race of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season after finishing second. Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski secured starting spots on Row 2.

Dillon picks up his second pole of the year and fifth of his career.

The 2018 Daytona 500 winner captured the pole just hours after NASCAR announced it had "confiscated the rear deck lid" from his car Friday for further review. Any penalty decisions wouldn't be made until following Sunday's race.

Talladega hasn't yielded much success for Dillon. He's recorded a single top-five result in 11 starts at the track with an average finish of 21.1.

The Chevrolet driver will look to reverse that trend at one of the sport's best-known venues. Breaking from the top spot for the first time at the 2.66-mile tri-oval should provide a nice boost. Having Richard Childress Racing teammate Daniel Hemric starting fifth should help, too. 

Joey Logano, who will start eighth, could be tough to beat Sunday, though.

The 28-year-old reigning Cup Series champion is the race's defending champion and has captured the checkered flag three times in 20 career Talladega starts. He's also off to another strong start this season as he's second place in the standings.

Logano told Brendan Marks of the Charlotte Observer that his focus is translating his high finishes into more victories.

"I feel like we've been in position to win probably four or five races and we have one win, so we need to do a better job of capitalizing," he said Friday. "The good thing is our [Penske] cars are fast. We'll be able to clean up mistakes as the season goes on, for sure."

That said, Talladega is always one of the year's toughest races to forecast, and that's unlikely to change despite some late rule changes designed to reel in the incredible speeds witnessed in practice this week.

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