AJ Allmendinger scores career first road course pole at Sonoma

SONOMA, CA - JUNE 27:  AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kingsford Charcoal Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 27, 2015 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

SONOMA, CA – JUNE 27: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kingsford Charcoal Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 27, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

AJ Allmendinger is known as a road course expert but did something Saturday he had never done winning his first pole on a road course.  Allmendinger put down a lap of1:14.385, 96.310    miles per hour on the 1.99-mile road course in Sonoma California and will lead the field to the green for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/SaveMart 350.

The pole was the third of his career and his first since April of 2012 at Kansas Speedway.  Allmendinger, whose lone Sprint Cup career win came at the road course at Watkins Glen last season, ran the fastest lap of the second and final round of qualifying with less than five minutes remaining.  Allmendinger was one of three drivers to break the track record in the first round. Kyle Larson was the fastest of that round, but could only manage fourth in the final ten minutes.

The final round was halted briefly when Kyle Busch spun at turn 10 bringing out the red flag at 7:01; only Brad Keselowski had put down a timed lap. The rest including Allmendinger were forced back into the pits. When the clock restarted, none of the final 12 could run the prefect lap needed to break Larson’s new track record.

“They were both pretty good,” Allmendinger said. MORE>>>

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