New team? No problem for 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Daniel Hemric, as the 31-year-old captured the pole position for Saturday’s Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. 300 at Daytona International Speedway, driving the No. 11 for Kaulig Racing.
Hemric will lead the field to the green flag for the sixth time in his NASCAR Xfinity Series career, and the second time at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. The pole marks the first for Kaulig Racing at Daytona, and the fourth during their tenure in the second-tier series.
Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill will start on the outside of the front row, with teammates – both literal and defacto — Jade Buford and Sheldon Creed sitting in the second row.
The dominance of Chevrolet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series was apparent on Saturday morning, with Brett Moffitt, Landon Cassill, and Josh Berry all earning positions inside the top-seven to begin the season opener.
However, the biggest surprise from Saturday’s qualifying session was easily Ryan Vargas, whose eighth-place start was the best for JD Motorsports in a qualifying situation since the 2012 Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona, with Mike Wallace.
.@RyanVargas_23 will start this afternoon's #Beef300 at @DAYTONA from eighth-place, marking the best starting spot for @JDMotorsports01 – in a qualifying situation — since Mike Wallace's P7 start at Daytona in 2012.#NASCAR | @NASCAR_Xfinity
— Joseph Srigley (@joe_srigley) February 19, 2022
Brandon Jones and Riley Herbst both advanced to the final round of qualifying, as well, and will start Saturday’s 300-mile race in ninth and 10th.
As many expected, the NASCAR Xfinity Series field was extremely competitive throughout the single-car qualifying session, as owner point provisionals were handed out to five vehicles inside the top-20 in 2021 NXS OP.
David Starr (No. 08), Natalie Decker (No. 33), Gray Gaulding (No. 47), Harrison Rhodes (No. 52), Tim Viens (No. 74), Ronnie Bassett Jr. (No. 77), Alex Labbe (No. 90), Mason Massey (No. 91) and Stefan Parsons (No. 99) were the nine drivers that failed to qualify for the season-opener at Daytona.