William Byron continued his qualifying hot streak with an unblemished run his third season pole for Sunday’s Pocono 400 at the Pocono Raceway.

The Hendrick Motorsports sophomore circuited the 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle in 51.875 seconds with an average speed of 173.494 mph. The lap was a comfortable .26s ahead of second place Kyle Busch.

The pole ties Byron with Stewart Hass Racing driver Kevin Harvick for most on the year with his first two coming at the Daytona 500 and last weekend Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte.

Chasing his elusive first win, the 21-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina is brimming with confidence this weekend having previous success in at Pocono which includes a victory in the 2016 Gander Outdoors Truck Series race.

“It’s all about execution,” said the driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. “It is on me to know what I need throughout the race. I’m starting to learn what it takes at the last 100 laps instead of the first 80.”

He found some comparisons in the 2019 Cup package to what he had in the trucks and feels that gives him an edge.

“It’s a similar package to what we had in Trucks. I went back and watched that race. Hopefully, we can lean on some of those notes I had there and some of the things I wanted in the car and translate that into the race this weekend.”

Busch settled for second, which marks the best starting spot of the year for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points leader.

Clint Bowyer made it three manufacturers in the top three by grabbing the third quickest lap in his No. 14 Stewart Haas Racing Ford. He performance stands as his fourth top-five starting spot of the season.

Erik Jones made it two Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas in the top five in fourth ahead of two former Pocono winners occupy in row three headed by Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski in fifth and Denny Hamlin in sixth.

A pair of Chevrolets filled out the fourth row led by Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson in seventh and three-time Pocono winner Jimmie Johnson in eighth.

Rounding out the top ten were 2018 Pocono runner up Daniel Suarez and Austin Dillon.

Fresh off his win in last week’s Coca Cola 600, defending race winner Martin Truex, Jr. was the lone JGR Toyota outside the top ten. The 2017 series champion struggled in his No. 19 Camry and only mustered the 20th quickest lap.

The only incident of qualifying came when JJ Yeley spun his Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet off Turn 2. He made minimal contact with the outside wall and drove the car back to the pits.

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