After all of the misfortune and bad luck that Stewart-Haas Racing and Aric Almirola have suffered throughout the first-half of the season, Sunday’s qualifying session at Nashville Superspeedway is a welcome boost in morale and momenteum for the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang, claiming the pole for the inaugural Ally 400 with a lap of 29.557 seconds | 161.992mph.
Almirola’s fantastic lap, put down early in the single-car qualifying session, marks his third pole in the NASCAR Cup Series and the 55th in the NASCAR Cup Series for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series pole sitter and race winner, Kyle Busch, qualified in second-place, with Joey Logano, William Byron and Kyle Larson rounding out the top-five starters. Chase Elliott, Cole Custer, Alex Bowman, Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-10.
Other noteables include: Kevin Harvick (12th), Denny Hamlin (13th), Brad Keselowski (15th), Chase Briscoe (16th), Anthony Alfredo (18th), Ross Chastain (19th), Michael McDowell (24th), Christopher Bell (25th), Tyler Reddick (26th), Austin Dillon (28th), Kurt Busch (30th) and Martin Truex Jr (35th).
Quin Houff – driving for StarCom Racing — will be forced to start at the rear of the field for Sunday’s 300-lap event, after sliding to the top of the track in turn one, making slight contact with the outside wall. Houff did not finish his lap and will start 39th.