Ryan Blaney to start first at Las Vegas

Ryan Blaney won two poles in 2017. (Getty)
Ryan Blaney won two poles in 2017. (Getty)

Maybe the Ford speed at Atlanta wasn’t a mirage.

Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney posted the fastest time in the third round of qualifying to win the pole for Sunday’s race at Las Vegas. Blaney led a 1-2-3 Ford charge followed by Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch.

Ford drivers finished in the top three spots a week ago at Atlanta and dominated the race thanks to Harvick, who ended up winning with the fastest car.

Defending Las Vegas champion Martin Truex Jr. will start fourth. Kyle Larson will start fifth.

In addition to taking the top three starting spots, Ford drivers occupy eight of the top 12 starting positions. That’s pretty good when you consider that just three Ford drivers missed out on the final round of qualifying and the lowest Ford driver is Trevor Bayne in 24th out of 37 cars entered.

Ford drivers entered the year hoping that NASCAR’s new camera-based inspection system would help level the field. Maybe it has, at least three weeks into the 2018 season.

Here’s the starting lineup for Sunday’s race.

1. Ryan Blaney
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Kurt Busch
4. Martin Truex Jr.
5. Kyle Larson
6. Chase Elliott
7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
8. Brad Keselowski
9. Erik Jones
10. Joey Logano
11. Clint Bowyer
12. Paul Menard
13. Kyle Busch
14. Jimmie Johnson
15. Michael McDowell
16. Austin Dillon
17. William Byron
18. Daniel Suarez
19. Denny Hamlin
20. Alex Bowman
21. Kasey Kahne
22. Jamie McMurray
23. David Ragan
24. Trevor Bayne
25. Ryan Newman
26. Darrell Wallace Jr.
27. AJ Allmendinger
28. Chris Buescher
29. Aric Almirola
30. Cole Custer
31. Ty Dillon
32. Matt DiBenedetto
33. Ross Chastain
34. Cole Whitt
35. Gray Gaulding
36. Jeffrey Earnhardt
37. Joey Gase

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.