Jimmie Johnson has taken advantage of clean air following the Lap 49 red flag and is currently pacing the middle stages of today’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.
Johnson had yet to pit when the caution came out at Lap 89 for debris from the right-rear tire of David Gilliland during what had been a wave of green flag stops for debris. He took four tires on the stop and has been able to maintain the point since then.
Running second is Joey Logano, who has had a healthy amount of past success at Kentucky with multiple wins there in the Nationwide Series. Clint Bowyer has risen to third place, followed by Denny Hamlin, who has performed admirably since losing a tire earlier in the afternoon. Matt Kenseth has also been steady, currently fifth at the halfway mark.
As for Johnson’s teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., the front-end damage he sustained from Hamlin’s wayward tire carcass has forced him into a battle to get out of the mid-pack. NASCAR’s most popular driver has managed to stay on the lead lap but was only 19th at halfway, with the front end and splitter of his car almost completely covered in black tape.
Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo has dominated all weekend long at the Monaco Grand Prix, leading every single practice session prior to qualifying.
And qualifying was more of the same for the Australian driver, whose quick lap in Q3 came in at 1:10.810, a new track record, to take the pole by more than two tenths of a second over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Meanwhile, Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen endured a much more difficult day, which started with a hard crash in FP3.
Verstappen’s Red Bull RB14 suffered extensive damage to the right side, and even more damage was later found in the car’s gearbox. Such repairs ultimately proved too time consuming, and Verstappen will start Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix from last.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton filled out the top three by qualifying third, with Ferrari and Mercedes also taking the fourth and fifth spots on the grid, with Kimi Raikkonen in fourth and Valtteri Bottas in fifth.
Force India’s Esteban Ocon, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, and Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. take up spots six, seven, and eight on the grid. Sergio Perez made it two Force Indias in Q3, qualifying ninth, while Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly qualified tenth.
Full qualifying results are below. Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix kicks off at 9:00 a.m. ET.