A.J. Allmendinger wasn’t quite fast enough in practice to unseat Dale Earnhardt Jr. from the top spot for the Sprint Showdown. But, when it came time to qualify, Allmendinger was able to beat Earnhardt and everyone else to grab the pole for the prelimenary All-Star event on Saturday night.
With a lap of 192.47 MPH/28.06 seconds, Allmendinger was able to beat out Martin Truex Jr for the pole for Saturday’s race.
“It was a good lap,” Allmendinger said to SPEED reporters after his lap. “The car was stuck to the track.”
This is the first time that Allmendinger has sat on pole for the Sprint Showdown, he started on the outside of the front row a year ago.
Rounding out the top-five for Saturday’s event will be Earnhardt Jr. in third, Jeff Burton in fourth and Aric Almirola in fifth.
Before the All-Star race on Saturday night will be the Sprint Showdown, a race of all the drivers that haven’t qualified for the All-Star race. It will feature two 20 lap segments. The winner and second place driver in the event will both automatically transfer from the Sprint Showdown to the All-Star race.
A third Sprint Showdown driver will transfer from to the All-Star race that is the driver who wins the fan vote.
Three times in the history of the All-Star event, a driver that has transferred from the Showdown has won the All-Star race.
“We have 40 laps to get into this thing,” Allmendinger said about the All-Star race.
Since this is not a points paying event no drivers had to go home.
Sprint Showdown Starting Line-up:
- A.J. Allmendinger
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Jeff Burton
- Aric Almirola
- Landon Cassill
- Juan Pablo Montoya
- Bobby Labonte
- Travis Kvapil
- David Stremme
- Casey Mears
- David Reutimann
- Joey Logano
- Stephen Leicht
- Scott Speed
- David Gilliland
- Mike Bliss
- J.J. Yeley
- Jamie McMurray
- Joe Nemechek
- Josh Wise
- Tony Raines