Daniel Suarez got off to a fast start and maintained pace in the final round of NASCAR Cup qualifying to secure the pole position for Sunday’s Indy Road Course race.
Suarez set the quickest average lap speed at 99.814 mph early in the last 10-minute round of Saturday’s qualifying session. Suarez, who is still winless this season and is five points outside the playoffs, is currently in last place.
The Trackhouse Racing driver had to secure a solid result on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in order to boost his chances of making the playoffs.
During the last minutes of qualifying, nearly every car including Suarez went out for a second effort, but Reddick just missed ejecting Suarez off the pole.
Suarez won his first Busch Light Pole Award of the season, the first at the Indy Road Course, and the third of his NASCAR Cup Series career by edging Tyler Reddick (99.649 mph) by a small margin of 0.145 seconds.
Suarez sits five points behind Ty Gibbs in 16th place which is the final Playoff-eligible spot, in the Cup Series standings with three races remaining before the Playoff field is set. On Saturday, Gibbs qualified last among those who made it to the final qualifying round in 10th place.
Kyle Busch will start fifth, followed by Michael McDowell in fourth place and Chase Elliott in third place quickly (99.399 mph).
Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen, Alex Bowman and Ty Gibbs rounded out the top ten starters for the race on Sunday.
Brodie Kostecki, another Supercars star, will start in position 11 albeit his car will require repairs, Kamui Kobayashi starts in position 28, 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button in position 31 and Mike Rockenfeller in position 37.