Ryan Blaney won the Busch Light Pole Award for Sunday’s Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway with a qualifying speed of 132.709 mph on Saturday.
Joining him on the front row will be Denny Hamlin, who had the fastest lap on the board until Blaney knocked him off as the final car on the track.
“Really good MAYTAG Menards Ford Mustang all day, really,” Blaney told FOX Sports. “Good in race trim, was happy, obviously, with the speed in qualifying. I thought you were going to have to run a little quicker (in the second round) and I saw everyone not going as fast.
“I was like, ‘well, let me just try to hit the same lap I did (in the first round).’ I gave a little bit back off (Turn) 4 and that had me nervous, but (I) had enough cushion.”
Rounding out the top five behind Blaney and Hamlin were William Byron, last week’s pole sitter Christopher Bell and Aric Almirola.
Chase Briscoe, Kyle Larson, Austin Cindric, Alex Bowman and Joey Logano completed the top 10.
Logano was first out in the second round of qualifying after clocking fifth-fastest in Group A but went for a slide off of Turn 4, contacting the outside wall and relegating him to the back of the top 10.
Nine-time Phoenix winner Kevin Harvick will line up 16th, while defending race winner Martin Truex Jr. will start 20th.
Cindric, Blaney top practice sessions
Team Penske led the way in both Group A and Group B during practice Saturday afternoon, with Austin Cindric (131.090 mph) and Ryan Blaney (131.047 mph) fastest in their respective groups.
Chase Briscoe was third-fastest in Group A and sixth-fastest overall, but his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team discovered a cracked brake rotor after experiencing significant brake shake after their first run.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. posted the 18th-fastest lap overall in Saturday’s practice sessions but suffered an engine failure, citing a faulty valve spring as the culprit. The No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet will start from the rear on Sunday.
“She (motor) let go there, valve spring,” said @StenhouseJr. “Hendrick is putting another motor in and giving us a bullet. I feel confident going into tomorrow. We’ll pass a lot of cars with our No. 47 @FrysFoodStores @NosEnergyDrink Camaro @phoenixraceway.”
— JTG Daugherty Racing (@JTGRacing) March 12, 2022
Chase Elliott was fifth-quickest in Group A but only managed the seventh-fastest lap in the group’s qualifying session.
Teams were allotted 20 minutes of practice in their respective groups, the same format used two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway. The difference this week was an additional five minutes in their group session. At Las Vegas, all teams participated in one shared 35-minute session.