Hemric bests playoff drivers to earn Kansas pole


KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Daniel Hemric gave his hopes of landing a Cup Series ride for next season some help by taking his No. 8 Chevrolet to the pole for Richard Childress Racing at Kansas Speedway on Saturday.

Hemric, who was told last month that Childress would not pick up his option for 2020, turned a lap of 178.047 mph to edge the retiring David Ragan during qualifying.

They were joined in the top five by a trio of drivers in the NASCAR playoffs.

Ryan Blaney was third after his rain-delayed win last weekend at Talladega. Brad Keselowski will start alongside him after qualifying fourth, and Kyle Larson will start fifth.

Like Blaney, Larson has nothing to sweat before the playoff field is cut to eight on Sunday. He locked up his spot in the next round by winning at Dover.

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