For the fourth time in the last eight races, Christopher Bell and Joe Gibbs Racing will lead the NASCAR Cup Series field to green, scoring the pole for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Bell, driving the No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry TRD, posted a blistering lap in the final round of qualifying on Sunday, breaking down into the 29-second bracket with a time of 29.954 (180.276mph).
The pole position marks the eighth of Bell’s career at NASCAR’s top-level, and his second at Kansas Speedway, after he scored the pole for last year’s Spring race at the 1.5-mile facility.
A native of Norman, Oklahoma, Bell beat out fellow dirt racer Kyle Larson for the top-spot in the final round, as the Hendrick Motorsports driver posted a time of 30.029 seconds (179.826mph), which was good enough to claim second.
Martin Truex, Jr. will start Sunday’s 400-mile contest from third place, while Chase Elliott and Tyler Reddick completed the top five in qualifying. Ross Chastain found some pace in qualifying to earn a sixth-place starting spot, with Michael McDowell and Austin Dillon starting seventh and eighth.
William Byron will be credited with a ninth-place starting spot for Sunday’s race but will have to start at the rear of the field, after the team discovered a broken suspension piece in practice, and had to make the fix. Bubba Wallace will complete the top-10 in his No. 23 Columbia Sportswear Toyota Camry TRD.
Joey Logano will start from 11th, after barely missing out on the final round of qualifying. The defending NASCAR Cup Series champion will start ahead of RFK Racing teammates Brad Keselowski and Chris Buecher, who qualified 12th and 13th.
Denny Hamlin was one of two Toyota-backed entries to miss out on the final round of qualifying, and will start the race from the 14th position. Meanwhile, championship-eligible drivers Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Ryan Blaney, and Kevin Harvick qualified 16th, 17th, and 20th, respectively.
Kyle Busch, who enters Kansas Speedway only 20 points above the cutline, ran into some issues during practice when a flat right-rear tire sent the No. 8 Casey’s General Store Chevrolet into the outside wall. Busch will start from 35th place.
Ty Gibbs also ran into a similar issue, blowing a right-rear tire, and elected to not take a qualifying lap, which will leave him credited with a 36th-place starting position, and will go to a backup car.
Starting Lineup – NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas Speedway