John Hunter Nemechek Earns First Career Pole in NASCAR Xfinity Series

by Justin Schuoler On Sat, Nov. 10, 2018

John Hunter Nemechek runs a time of 26.970 seconds to earn his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series pole for today's Whelen Trusted to Perform 200 at ISM Raceway. Photo by Rachel Schuoler for Speedway Media.
John Hunter Nemechek runs a time of 26.970 seconds to earn his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series pole for today's Whelen Trusted to Perform 200 at ISM Raceway. Photo by Rachel Schuoler for Speedway Media.

John Hunter Nemechek claims his first career pole in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at ISM Raceway, setting a time of 26.970 seconds at 133.482 mph.

Nemechek edged Cole Custer by 17-thousandths of a second, as both drivers were the only two to run in the 26-second bracket. Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Preece completed the top-five.

“It feels good,” Nemechek told NBCSN. “We came here with the mindset to try and qualify on the pole. We unloaded not really good yesterday so we only got to do one mock (qualifying) run and it wasn’t that great.”

Most of the other Playoff drivers will start in the top-10. Elliott Sadler qualified in sixth, Daniel Hemric in eighth and Matt Tifft in 10th. Tyler Reddick had a slip in the second round, preventing him from putting down a fast enough lap to get into the final round. He will start 14th. The biggest news with those in the championship hunt was Christopher Bell failing inspection three times. He will start 38th.

Round one had about half of the Playoff contenders waiting until the last few minutes before turning a lap. Austin Cindric was fastest and most Playoff contenders held top-15 lap times. All but one made it through to the second round. Christopher Bell and Ty Majeski failed inspection three times, so they will start at the rear of the field. Neither was able to turn a lap, along with Josh Bilicki.

“Well the good thing is (Miami) doesn’t decide on where we start, it decides on where we finish,” Bell told NBCSN. “We got 200 laps, which is an eternity, especially from what I grew up doing in sprint car racing. Got a bunch of pit stops in there and a fast car to make it up. We’ll be fine.”

Bell also shared that this was the same car that won both times at Richmond Raceway.

“This is probably the fastest car we’ve brought to the race track all year-long compared to the field,” Bell said.

In round two, one more Playoff contender was eliminated. Tyler Reddick car got loose in Turn 4, which hurt his first and second attempts at improving his qualifying time. He will start 14th in the afternoon’s event. John Hunter Nemechek was fastest over Cole Custer, as the two were the only drivers to run just one lap in qualifying.

For the final round, the remaining Playoff drivers hold top-10 starts, and despite some last second laps by Cindric, Nemecheck was the one holding the top starting position, ahead of Custer, Cindric, Allgaier and Preece. Coverage for the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at ISM Raceway will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon on NBC.

Starting Line Up
ISM Raceway
20th Annual Whelen Trusted To Perform 200

Pos Car Driver Team Make
1 42 John Hunter Nemechek Fire Alarm Services Inc. Chevrolet
2 00 Cole Custer (P) Haas Automation Ford
3 22 Austin Cindric # (P) Discount Tire Ford
4 7 Justin Allgaier (P) BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet
5 18 Ryan Preece Rheem/Smurfit Kappa Toyota
6 1 Elliott Sadler (P) Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet
7 19 Brandon Jones Toyota Service Centers/Mobil 1 Toyota
8 21 Daniel Hemric (P) South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet
9 3 Shane Lee CIPT/Race to Give Chevrolet
10 2 Matt Tifft (P) Go Green Chevrolet
11 23 Spencer Gallagher ISM Connect Chevrolet
12 16 Ryan Reed Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford
13 5 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J Chevrolet
14 9 Tyler Reddick # (P) BurgerFi Chevrolet
15 11 Ryan Truex LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet
16 39 Ryan Sieg Lombard Brothers Chevrolet
17 36 Alex Labbe # Can-Am/Wholey/Cyclops Gear Chevrolet
18 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet
19 38 JJ Yeley Iron Mountain Data Centers Chevrolet
20 8 Tommy Joe Martins Chevrolet
21 35 Joey Gase Donate Life Arizona/Sparks Chevrolet
22 40 Chad Finchum # Smithbilt Homes Toyota
23 4 Ross Chastain Flex Seal Chevrolet
24 52 David Starr Whataburger Chevrolet
25 93 Jeff Green RSS Racing Chevrolet
26 90 Donald Theetge MercedesBenzStNicolas/CircuitAcura FALSE
27 0 Garrett Smithley Flex Tape Chevrolet
28 01 BJ McLeod Flex Glue Chevrolet
29 15 Quin Houff teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet
30 99 Stephen Leicht Chevrolet
31 13 Tyler Hill OCR Gaz Bar Toyota
32 76 Spencer Boyd # Grunt Style Chevrolet
33 66 Akinori Ogata Toyota
34 55 Bayley Currey(i) RollinSmokeBBQ/TouchedbyPros Toyota
35 89 Morgan Shepherd Visone RV Chevrolet
36 74 Mike Harmon Veterans 4 Child Rescue Chevrolet
37 78 Vinnie Miller # CorvetteParts.net/JWTransport FALSE
38 20 Christopher Bell # (P) GameStop Just Cause 4 Toyota
39 60 Ty Majeski Ford Ford
40 45 Josh Bilicki # Prevagen Toyota
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