Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series held the Coors Light Pole Qualifying session for the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. for the fourteenth race of the season. Qualifying for these races used to be held on Friday’s, with the top twenty-five qualifying for the race.With another session was held on Saturday. The fastest 43 cars started in the race. These days, the top thirty-five in owner points are locked in the race. The remainder of drivers must qualify on speed to race on Sunday.NASCAR calls these drivers “go or go homers” because they have to get going or go home. It used to be that drivers drew when they would come onto the track. They started “knock-out qualifying”, putting all the drivers not locked in qualifying together.
These days there is no draw to come onto the track. The slowest in the combined practice sessions come out first, followed by the fastest. Much drama, as each driver should better the speed of the last. They still held a separate session for those not locked into the race. This week starts a new way to do things. There is no separate session for those not locked in. They all come out according to practice speeds in the first practice session. If qualifying is rained out, this is how they will start the race. Personally, when they started having them come out according to speed in practice, I saw no need for two sessions. And NASCAR listened. After all, fast is fast and slow is slow.
7 Scott Wimmer started Coors Light Pole qualifying, with 99 Carl Edwards coming out last. 47 Bobby Labonte held the pole for awhile, as did 33 Clint Bowyer. 78 Regan Smith came out seventeenth and held the pole position for quite some time. 11 Denny Hamlin came out 35th to knock Smith off. Followed by 24 Jeff Gordon. Out fortieth was 22 Kurt Busch and those faster in practice couldn’t knock him off. Kurt starts the 5-Hour Energy 500 from the pole with a speed of 171.579 mph and 52.454 seconds, his second pole in a row. 27 Paul Menard will start the race in second.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR racing. See you after the race.