In what will prove to be a critical weekend for Stewart-Haas Racing, with Chase Briscoe and Kevin Harvick sitting 15th and 16th on the Playoff Grid, it appears that the four-car operation has brought some serious speed.
However, it was the team’s non-playoff driver Aric Almirola the captured the pole for Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, posting a time of 14.946 seconds (128.382mph) to win the fourth pole of his NASCAR Cup Series career.
Almirola, driving the No. 10 Blue Oval City Ford Mustang, beat out his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Chase Briscoe, by two-hundredths of a second to sweep the front row for the organization, something the team hasn’t accomplished since 2019.
Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin will start from third and fourth place, highlighting an interesting qualifying session, where second through fourth were only separated by fourth-thousandths of a second.
Kyle Larson, who announced a three-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports on Friday, completed the top five.
Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, Christopher Bell, Austin Cindric, and Brad Keselowski all completed the top-10 qualifiers, advancing to the second round from their respective groups.
Of the drivers, still eligible for the championship, Ross Chastain (12th), Joey Logano (15th), William Byron (16th), Tyler Reddick (17th), Kyle Busch (21st), Chase Elliott (23rd), and Daniel Suarez (29th) qualified outside the top-10.
Qualifying Results / Starting Lineup: