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Christopher Bell Scores Third Straight Cup Pole in Elimination Race at Bristol

Christopher Bell will lead the field to green for the third straight week in the NASCAR Cup Series, sweeping the ‘Round of 16’ when it comes to qualifying. Photo Credit: Jonathan McCoy, Racing America

Christopher Bell has been unstoppable when it comes to qualifying in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, picking up his third consecutive pole position with a stellar lap in the final round of qualifying at Bristol Motor Speedway.

With a time of 15.109 seconds (126.998mph) in the final round of qualifying on Friday, Bell propelled his No. 20 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota Camry TRD to the top of the time sheets, leading a front-row sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Denny Hamlin, a teammate to Bell at Joe Gibbs Racing, will start alongside the Norman, Oklahoma native on the front row for Sunday’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race, coming up just eight-thousandths of a second short of the top spot.

It’s the ninth pole of Bell’s career in the NASCAR Cup Series, and his fifth of the season, which leads all drivers.

William Byron will start from third place, while Michael McDowell posted the fourth-fastest time in the final round, earning him his fifth top-10 start in the last six events, and his best-ever oval qualifying result. Martin Truex, Jr. rounded out the top five.

Brad Keselowski was sixth, while Chase Elliott, Ty Gibbs, Bubba Wallace, and Corey LaJoie rounded out the top-10 qualifiers for Saturday’s 500-lap gauntlet from the half-mile short track known as “The Last Great Colosseum”.

Ryan Blaney, one of the drivers still in the running to advance to the ‘Round of 12’ on Saturday, will start from 11th place, as one of the nine drivers eligible for the post-season to not advance to the second round of qualifying.

Kyle Busch (15th), Chris Buescher (19th), Kevin Harvick (20th), Ross Chastain (22nd), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (25th), and Joey Logano (28th), were the other championship-eligible drivers that failed to advance to the second round.

Tyler Reddick and Kyle Larson, who locked themselves into the next round via victories in the opening two events of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, qualified 12th and 36th, respectively.

Larson, driving the No. 5 for Hendrick Motorsports, had an ill-handling Chevrolet on his qualifying lap, sliding his entry around the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway, which led him to post the slowest time in qualifying.

Bass Pro Shops Night Race – Starting Lineup / Qualifying Results:

Qualifying Results: NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol

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