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Suarez 1st Mexican driver on the pole for a NASCAR Cup race

Posted: 2:00 PM, Jul 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-29 15:00:12-04

LONG POND, Pa. (AP) – Daniel Suarez made NASCAR history when he became the first Mexican driver to start on the pole in the elite Cup series Sunday at Pocono Raceway.

Suarez earned the top spot after the qualifying times of front-row starters Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch were tossed out because the cars failed post-qualifying inspection. Harvick and Busch were among 13 drivers whose cars failed inspection and were forced to start at the rear of the field.

“They know what the tolerances are and they were out of tolerance,” NASCAR COO Steve Phelps said. “No one likes it. We don't like it for sure.”

The lineup shuffling gave Joe Gibbs Racing the top three spots at Pocono: Suarez, Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones.

Harvick has 43 career wins, but has yet to win a Cup race at Pocono or Kentucky Speedway. Harvick is 0 for 8 at Kentucky and 0 for 35 at Pocono. He's getting close on the 2½-mile triangle track – Harvick has two runner-up finishes and two fourths in his past four races.

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