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
20th Annual Whelen Trusted To Perform 200
|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|
|19||38||JJ Yeley||Iron Mountain Data Centers||Chevrolet|
|21||35||Joey Gase||Donate Life Arizona/Sparks||Chevrolet|
|22||40||Chad Finchum #||Smithbilt Homes||Toyota|
|23||4||Ross Chastain||Flex Seal||Chevrolet|
|25||93||Jeff Green||RSS Racing||Chevrolet|
|27||0||Garrett Smithley||Flex Tape||Chevrolet|
|28||01||BJ McLeod||Flex Glue||Chevrolet|
|31||13||Tyler Hill||OCR Gaz Bar||Toyota|
|32||76||Spencer Boyd #||Grunt Style||Chevrolet|
|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|
|40||45||Josh Bilicki #||Prevagen||Toyota|