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NASCAR at Talladega 2019 Qualifying Results: Chase Elliott Secures Pole Position

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2019

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA - OCTOBER 11: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Night Vision Chevrolet, during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 11, 2019 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Hendrick Motorsports enjoyed a clean sweep of the top four spots in qualifying Saturday with Chase Elliott taking the poll for Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama.

NASCAR @NASCAR

That 9️⃣ looks fast again. 👀 @chaseelliott jumps to the top of the board in #BuschPole Qualifying! https://t.co/rFoL5BGSZN

Elliott was followed by teammates Alex Bowman, William Byron and Jimmie Johnson. Here is a look at the full qualifying order, courtesy of NASCAR.com (time in seconds):

1. Chase Elliott: 49.692

2. Alex Bowman: 49.732

3. William Byron: 49.808

4. Jimmie Johnson: 49.988

5. Aric Almirola: 49.992

6. Brad Keselowski: 50.007

7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 50.053

8. Clint Bowyer: 50.055

9. Ryan Blaney: 50.078

10. Joey Logano: 50.130

11. Erik Jones: 50.179

12. Kyle Larson: 50.195

13. Ryan Newman: 50.223

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14. Paul Menard: 50.264

15. Kevin Harvick: 50.315

16. Matt Tifft: 50.316

17. David Ragan: 50.341

18. Martin Truex Jr.: 50.452

19. Daniel Suarez: 50.481

20. Austin Dillon: 50.567

21. Ty Dillon: 50.577

22. Michael McDowell: 50.594

23. Chris Buescher: 50.616

24. Kurt Busch: 50.656

25. Landon Cassill: 50.750

26. Kyle Busch: 50.776

27. Bubba Wallace: 50.863

28. Brendan Gaughan: 50.873

29. Daniel Hemric: 50.881

30. Ryan Preece: 51.011

31. Matt DiBenedetto: 51.176

32. Parker Kligerman: 51.956

33. Corey LaJoie: 52.002

34. Ross Chastain: 52.324

35. Blake Jones: 52.407

36. Joey Gase: 53.101

37. Austin Theriault: 53.227

38. Reed Sorenson: 53.471

39. Spencer Boyd: 54.404

40. Denny Hamlin: 0.000

After capturing his fourth pole of the season, Elliott looked ahead to Sunday's race, which tends to be one of the most exciting and chaotic events on the schedule:

NASCAR on NBC @NASCARonNBC

It's a 1-2-3-4 performance for @TeamHendrick in qualifying at @TalladegaSuperS, with @ChaseElliott and the @Hendrick9Team leading the train. We caught up with Chase after he won the pole for Sunday's #NASCARPlayoffs race. https://t.co/Jb78uwOBWR

Elliott didn't get off to an ideal start last week in the NASCAR playoffs' round of 12 at Dover, as an engine issue caused him to finish 38th. His bid to bounce back started in strong fashion Saturday, however.

Teammates Bowman and Byron are also in the playoffs, and they are above the cutoff line in seventh and eighth, respectively.

Larson, Truex Jr., Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Harvick, Keselowski, Logano, Bowyer and Blaney are the other drivers who are still in the championship hunt as well.

Among them, Keselowski, Bowyer, Blaney and Logano will start in the top 10 on Sunday. Busch had a tough run that will force him to start 26th, but the worst break of the day went to Hamlin.

NASCAR tweeted video of Hamlin taking his car behind the wall prior to his scheduled qualifying run:

NASCAR @NASCAR

Something amiss on the 11? @dennyhamlin hits the track for his #BuschPole lap, but then heads back into the garage before completing his run. https://t.co/nYRWCNkKWk

It was later revealed that an engine issue prevented Hamlin from qualifying, which means he will start at the back of the field:

Jordan Bianchi @Jordan_Bianchi

Denny Hamlin did not post a qualifying time because "something in the motor broke," per his crew chief Chris Gabehart. https://t.co/QPypC85O9P

Hamlin is in good position in the standings currently in third place, which is 48 points ahead of the ninth-place driver. Also, making a run from the back of the pack isn't necessarily a huge undertaking at Talladega, but staying out of wrecks could be a challenge.

The Hendrick cars have to be considered the top contenders to win Sunday since they can work together from the green flag on, but because of the unpredictability of the track, almost anyone in the field is a threat to win.

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