(AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) Daniel Hemric wasn't exactly fired. David Ragan isn't quite yet retired.
Yet the two off-the-radar drivers bested 12 playoff drivers and the rest of the Cup Series field to land on the front row for Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway. Hemric turned a fast lap of 178.047 mph to edge Ragan, who was followed by three drivers still in the championship hunt.
"I wasn't too, too pumped up about the lap I ran, but as every car went by I felt like our odds increased," said Hemric, who was told last month that Richard Childress Racing would not be picking up his option for 2020. "It's just the pole award but it's a big moment for this race team."