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Christopher Bell Tops Las Vegas Speed Charts; Scores Sixth Cup Pole of 2023

Christopher Bell will lead the field to green in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his sixth pole of the season. Photo Credit: Craig White, Racing America

Christopher Bell and Adam Stevens are starting to develop a reputation of being nearly unstoppable in qualifying.

For the sixth time this year, and the fourth time in seven qualifying sessions in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, the Norman, Oklahoma native will lead the field to green, scoring the pole for Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas.

Bell ripped off a stellar lap in the final round of qualifying on Saturday, which clocked in at 28.980 seconds (186.335mph), to secure his 10th career pole at NASCAR’s top level, all of which have come in the season two seasons.

The five-time NASCAR Cup Series winner bested a pair of teammates from Hendrick Motorsports in qualifying, giving him the opportunity to have Kyle Larson and William Byron directly behind him at the start of Sunday’s 400-mile contest.

Larson, who had a near-miss in qualifying with a blistering tire, was just one-hundredth of a second slower than Bell in the second round of qualifying, which will earn him a spot on the outside of the front row, placing him just ahead of William Byron.

Martin Truex, Jr. – who has advanced to the ‘Round of 8’ despite a horrific start to the NASCAR Cup Series post-season – will start in fourth place, while Chris Buescher places his RFK Racing Ford Mustang inside the top-five, in fifth.

After being eliminated from the post-season following the Charlotte ROVAL, Kyle Busch and Bubba Wallace put down starting spots of sixth and seventh place, while Tyler Reddick will start eighth in his quest for a championship.

The top two in points from last year, Joey Logano and Ross Chastain completed the top-10 in time trials and will start from ninth and 10th-place, chasing a victory after both being bounced from the post-season.

Ryan Blaney (12th) and Denny Hamlin (15th) were the only two drivers still eligible for the NASCAR Cup Series championship who failed to advance into the final round of qualifying on Saturday.

Blaney, who advanced to the ‘Round of 8’ with a victory at Talladega, enters Las Vegas sitting on the negative side of the cutline, 10 points behind, while Hamlin has an 11-point buffer over the cutline – a result of accumulating Playoff Points throughout the year.

A major storyline stemming from Saturday’s brief practice session from Las Vegas Motor Speedway was the issues with flat right-rear tires, which impacted a pair of drivers in the session – one of which remains eligible for the Owner’s Playoffs.

Chase Elliott, driving the No. 9 Chevrolet, suffered the first right-rear tire issue in practice, after running just 15 laps on the set of tires. Elliott will be headed to a backup car, after slamming the wall at the end of the session, and will start 35th.

Daniel Suarez was the other driver to suffer a right-rear tire issue during practice when his No. 99 snapped loose at the exit of the second corner, spinning to the inside wall, where the Trackhouse Racing entry slammed the tire barrier on the backstretch.

Qualifying Results:

Qualifying Results: NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400 at Las Vegas

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