Ford drivers dominated qualifying this afternoon. They are sitting pretty in six of the first eight starting positions. While this doesn’t surprise me one bit, the person sitting in the pole position does. Can Paul Menard take advantage of this amazing qualifying session? His confidence in his team sure says so.

“My guys did a hell of a job today,” Menard said of his No. 21 Wood Brothers team. “We weren’t very good in practice. We did a mock qualifying run and I was so loose that I aborted it. So we never got a true mock run.”

“We got a little too loose in round two, adjusted for it and round three drove like round one. The track is hard on tires, but the sun is going down, it’s getting a little cooler. I just hit my marks and Greg and the guys made good adjustments.”

To make this weekend even crazier, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson failed to qualify inside the top 12. Even though I expect them all to finish inside the top 10, it still caught me by surprise.

Martin Truex Jr. has won the last two races here and looks to join Harvick and Kyle Busch as the only 4-time winners on the season. Although he didn’t have a great qualifying session, his dominance at this track in recent years cannot be forgotten.

Menard has looked sharp all weekend long, but he is definitely going to have his hands full Sunday afternoon. Doing well in qualifying and practice is one thing, but winning a Cup Race is a completely different story. While I expect Menard to have a decent race, I believe the likes of Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick could be too much for this veteran.

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