Chandler Smith was the final driver to take to the track in Round 2 of NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying for Saturday night’s Alsco Uniforms 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and he turned a beauty of a lap to score the pole.
Smith clocked in a lap time of 32.127 sec., which was 0.111 sec. better than anyone else in the session. The driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro is now a two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series pole winner, and the Georgia native will look to become a two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series race winner.
John Hunter Nemechek will join Smith on the front row of Saturday night’s 250-mile event around the 1.54-mile speedway in Hampton, Georgia.
Nemechek’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith and JR Motorsports racer Josh Berry will makeup Row 2 of Saturday’s starting lineup.
Sam Mayer, Riley Herbst, Cole Custer, Jeremy Clements, Sheldon Creed and Austin Hill will be credited with starting positions five through 10.
However, for Creed and Hill, both drivers found problems with the transmissions in their Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets and were unable to turn a lap in Round 2 of qualifying as their teams worked on the issues. As a result, both drivers will drop to the rear of the field prior to Saturday night’s race.
Daniel Hemric and Ty Gibbs just missed out on speeding their way into Round 2 of qualifying but will roll from the grid in Saturday night’s race from the 11th and 12th positions.
Greg Van Alst, making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut this weekend for Alpha Prime Racing in the No. 44 entry had a wild moment in the qualifying session. As he was heading through Turns 3 and 4 on his timed lap, Van Alst’s car kicked sideways.
Luckily, Van Alst was able to wrangle the car, but it cost him a couple of seconds on the track and as a result he will start his Xfinity Series debut race from the final starting position in 38th.
After MBM Motorsports withdrew the No. 66 entry earlier this week, we were left with 38 entries for this weekend’s event. With 38 cars permitted to start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, no drivers will head home this weekend.