William Byron Collects Pole Position for Cup Race at COTA

The Hendrick Motorsports driver was able to narrowly beat out Tyler Reddick for his ninth NASCAR Cup Series pole, and his first at COTA.


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After topping Friday's NASCAR Cup Series practice by a longshot, many people in the garage had their eyes on Tyler Reddick for the pole position on Saturday.

Turns out, they were focused on the wrong rising star...

Despite the overall pace of Reddick, who set a new track record at Circuit of The Americas in the first round of qualifying, it was William Byron who triumphed for the pole, the ninth of his NASCAR Cup Series career.

With a time of 130.760 seconds, Byron set the quickest time in the final round of Saturday's group qualifying session by 14 hundredths of a second, scoring the top starting spot for Sunday's event.

Tyler Reddick was able to post a lap only good enough for the runner-up position, meaning the No. 45 Toyota Camry TRD will start alongside the series' only two-time winner.

Austin Cindric will start Sunday's race from third, after posting a lap time nearly six-tenths of a second slower than that of the polesitter.

In his NASCAR Cup Series debut, Jordan Taylor recorded a remarkable fourth-place result in qualifying, despite having an additional lap on his Goodyear tires.

Daniel Suarez will round out the top-five starters for Sunday's event at the 3.41-mile road course. Alex Bowman, AJ Allmendinger, Erik Jones, Kyle Busch, and Noah Gragson completed the top-10.

Ross Chastain, last year's winner at COTA, will start the race from 12th, while other notables such as Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, and Joey Logano will start from 13th to 15th.

Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button, the two former Formula One champions competing in the first road course event of the year, will start 22nd and 24th, respectively.

Even further back in the qualifying order, are some strong drivers who will have to make some mega recoveries throughout the day on Sunday.

Starting in positions 29, 30, and 31 are three NASCAR Cup Series champions, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, and Jimmie Johnson, who will start near the rear of the pack.

Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola both ran into issues with locking up the brakes on their qualifying runs, which means they'll find themselves starting 38th and 39th.

Image Credit: Jonathan McCoy, Courtesy of TobyChristie.com