NASCAR Talladega 2014 qualifying results: Brian Scott leads Childress qualifying romp

Patrick Smith

Childress affiliated teams swept the top six positions in qualifying for Sunday’s NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway.

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Rarely do things go according to plan at NASCAR's most unpredictable track, Talladega Superspeedway. The exception, however, was Saturday during qualifying for Sunday's Aaron's 499.

In a strategy crafted during a pre-session team meeting, Richard Childress laid out how his four drivers -- and drivers with an associate teams -- would qualify near the front. And just as Childress envisioned, Brian Scott (198.290 mph) led a sweep of the top six positions for Childress-powered cars.

The plan called for Ryan Newman to be the guinea pig and lead a parade of associated drivers around the 2.6-mile track. Newman's Chevrolet would be taped-off almost completely so as to maximize aerodynamics, a tactic which ensured he would not be the No. 1 qualifier, with Paul Menard at the rear pushing the pack.

"It worked out good for him; it worked out good for us," Menard said. "The top six were (Childress engines) and all the affiliates of Richard Childress Racing, so I couldn't be happier."

Scott, a full-time Nationwide Series driver attempting to qualify for his fifth career Sprint Cup race, did not have a guaranteed starting position, so Childress placed him in the middle where Scott's teammates would act as his wingmen.

"It is always a team effort to get these Superspeedway poles," Scott said. "We had a plan from the beginning to work as a team. Newman was the point man. I know how that feels because I was the point man in the Nationwide car yesterday. You feel like you don't really have a shot, but you do it to be a team player."

Menard will share the front row with Scott, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Casey Mears and Daytona 500 pole-sitter Austin Dillon. Newman starts sixth.

Saturday marked the first time NASCAR's new group-qualifying format debuted on a restrictor-plate track. Many drivers entered the day apprehensively, almost certain a multi-car wreck would mar the session, much like what happens in race conditions at Daytona and Talladega.

Save for Kyle Busch scraping the wall, however, the session was incident-free.

"I knew it was going to be intense and pretty wild," said 11th-place qualifier Jeff Gordon. "It certainly lived up to that. You just have no idea how close you are at every moment of having a crash."

Danica Patrick qualified seventh, her best starting position since winning the 2013 Daytona 500 pole, and only her third top-10 start overall. Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards rounded out the top 10.

Due to minor rule infractions, NASCAR disallowed the times of Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex Jr. Both will start at the rear of the field Sunday.

Dave Blaney, Joe Nemechek, Eric McClure and J.J Yeley failed to qualify.

Aaron's 499 starting lineup
Rank Driver Make Speed
1 Brian Scott Chevrolet 198.290
2 Paul Menard Chevrolet 197.888
3 A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 197.704
4 Casey Mears Chevrolet 197.370
5 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 197.362
6 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 197.297
7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 194.995
8 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 194.393
9 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 193.619
10 Carl Edwards Ford 193.615
11 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 193.486
12 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 188.958
13 Brad Keselowski Ford 194.963
14 Michael McDowell Ford 194.959
15 Aric Almirola Ford 194.911
16 Joey Logano Ford 194.880
17 Michael Annett Chevrolet 194.098
18 Brian Vickers Toyota 194.035
19 Kyle Busch Toyota 193.541
20 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 193.478
21 Matt Kenseth Toyota 193.458
22 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 190.890
23 Trevor Bayne Ford 190.575
24 Ryan Truex Toyota 197.913
25 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Ford 197.908
26 Marcos Ambrose Ford 197.835
27 Clint Bowyer Toyota 197.806
28 Michael Waltrip Toyota 197.806
29 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 197.770
30 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Chevrolet 197.765
31 Cole Whitt Toyota 197.721
32 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 197.443
33 Alex Bowman Toyota 197.403
34 Denny Hamlin Toyota 197.378
35 Greg Biffle Ford 197.244
36 Josh Wise Ford 197.029
37 Terry Labonte Ford 196.746
38 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 196.230
39 David Ragan Ford 195.732
40 David Gilliland Ford 194.880
41 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 194.389
42 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet No time
43 Martin Truex, Jr. Chevrolet No time

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