Out of Chase, Dillon on pole for Sprint Cup race in Texas

Richard Childress, Austin Dillon
FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2015, file photo, driver Austin Dillon talks with team owner Richard Childress before a practice session for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. In a race dominated by Matt Kenseth last weekend, Dillon managed to stand out among the other drivers, and that's a step in the right direction for the young racer. (AP Photo/Dave Frechette, File)

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Austin Dillon is on the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas two weeks after a heartbreaking finish knocked him out of the championship chase.

Dillon had a fast lap of 192.301 mph in the final round of qualifying Friday to earn his third career pole.

Joey Logano qualified second, and will be the highest starter Sunday in the AAA Texas 500 of the eight drivers still eligible for the season championship. His best lap in the final session was 192.269 mph.

Jimmie Johnson is the only driver who has locked in one of the four spots for title-deciding race at Homestead in two weeks. He has also won the last four fall races at Texas, but qualified 19th on Friday.

When Denny Hamlin had a frantic ending to finish third at Talladega to end the second round of the playoffs, he tied Dillon for the eighth in points. Hamlin had the tiebreaker to get the final spot in the round of eight.

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