Erik Jones qualified eighth while his Furniture Row Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. qualified 16th. Jones will roll off the grid from the outside of Row 4 while Truex will start from the outside of Row 8 in Sunday’s Camping World 500 NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.
Driving the No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Jones made it to the pole-shootout round after posting the 22nd and seventh fastest speeds in the first two rounds of qualifying at the 1-mile flat track.
Jones’ elapsed times and speeds in each of the three rounds were: 26.845 seconds at 134.103 mph, 26.451 at 136.101 and 26.444 at 136.137.
It was the second consecutive eighth-place qualifying effort of the season for the 20-year-old Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate.
“We came a long way from the first round of qualifying because I didn’t think we had a great car in the first round,” said Jones. “I wasn’t too sure after practice but the 5-hour ENERGY Camry ended up being really close to what I needed in the last round. Looking back on it, knowing now what the pole speed ended up, we could have done a few things to be a little better that would have given us a good shot at the pole. It was a good qualifying effort, nonetheless, to make it to the third round again and a good starting spot.”
Truex, who was fourth fastest in practice in his No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, experienced some unexpected issues in qualifying that caused him to miss the third and final round of 12 drivers.
He was 15th fastest after the first round (26.659 at 135.039) and 16th after the second (26.562 at 135.532).
“We just missed it,” said Truex. “We made some changes with our Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota and thought the car would be better than what we had in practice. It didn’t work out that way and you’ll have that happen. We started 40th in the fall race last year and were in the top 10 after the first run. We’ll be ok as we look forward to Saturday’s two practices in race trim.”
The pole winner was Joey Logano. Rounding out the top 12 in order were: Ryan Blaney, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Jones, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch and Kenseth.
Sunday’s race will air live on the FOX network, 1:30 p.m. MT (12:30 local and 3:30 ET).