NASCAR starting lineup at Talladega: Dale Earnhardt Jr. captures pole for final ‘Dega start – Sporting News

It would be one of the biggest stories of the NASCAR season if Dale Earnhardt  Jr. were to win the Alabama 500 Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

He wrote the first chapter of what could be a great story Saturday afternoon, winning the pole for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race ahead of his final start as a full-time driver at Talladega. A six-time winner at the 2.66-mile track, Earnhardt’s pole brought a roar from the crowd.

Surprisingly, it was Earnhardt’s first pole at Talladega in his 18th full season. He has 15 career poles in his career.

Junior’s No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott will start on the front row alongside Earnhardt. After praising his own team, Earnhardt noted Elliott and the No. 24 team have battled all year in restrictor-plate qualifying.

“It’s been a lot of fun how these two teams have pushed each other,” Earnhardt Jr. told NBCSN.

But can Earnhardt go out and score a win in his final full-time run at Talladega?

“You think about that (winning) every time you suit up and get in the car,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “But this would be a real important win to get.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., a two-time restrictor plate winner this season, will start fifth.

Starting lineup for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Alabama 500 at Talladega

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr
2. Chase Elliott
3. Joey Logano
4. Kurt Busch
5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
6. Brad Keselowski 
7. Clint Bowyer
8. Jimmie Johnson
9. Ryan Blaney
10. Trevor Bayne
11. Kasey Kahne
12. Kyle Larson
13. Danica Patrick
14. Daniel Suarez
15. Denny Hamlin
16. Kyle Busch
17. Jamie McMurray
18. Austin Dillon
19. Matt Kenseth
20. Paul Menard
21. Martin Truex Jr.
22. Kevin Harvick
23. Erik Jones
24. AJ Allmendinger
25. Ty Dillon
26. Aric Almirola
27. Ryan Newman
28. Chris Buescher
29. Michael McDowell
30. Landon Cassill
31. Justin Marks
32. Matt DiBenedetto
33. David Ragan
34. Jeffrey Earnhardt
35. Brendan Gaughan
36. Mark Thompson
37. Joey Gase
38. Cole Whitt
39. Gray Gaulding
40. D.J. Kennington

Playoff standings entering Sunday’s Alabama 500

1. Martin Truex Jr., 3,106 points 
2. Kyle Larson, -34
3. Kevin Harvick, -37
4. Chase Elliott, -47
5. Denny Hamlin, -50
6. Kyle Busch, -51
7. Jimmie Johnson, -55
8. Jamie McMurray, -629. 
9. Matt Kenseth, -63
10. Brad Keselowski, -64
11. Ryan Blaney, -67
12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., -72

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