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Martin Truex, Jr. Leads Toyota Top-Three Sweep in Cup Qualifying from Homestead

After a dismal start to the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, Martin Truex, Jr. and the No. 19 Toyota team have seemingly found the pace to turn things around, scoring the pole for Sunday’s 4EVER 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The Mayetta, New Jersey native, who picked up his first top-10 result of the Playoffs in last weekend’s event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway put down the quickest lap in the second round of qualifying to score his 22nd pole at NASCAR’s top-level.

With a time of 32.256 seconds (167.411mph), Truex narrowly beat out his Toyota Racing Development teammates at 23XI Racing, Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick, to score the pole position for the penultimate event in the ‘Round of 8’.

Wallace, who was eliminated from post-season contention following Charlotte’s ROVAL, will start alongside Truex on Sunday, while his teammate Tyler Reddick – who enters Homestead 15 points below the cutline – will start in third place.

Brad Keselowski will start in fourth place, as he looks to continue the momentum from a strong top-five finish last weekend at Las Vegas. Kyle Larson, last weekend’s winner, will round out the top five starters.

Austin Dillon picked up a season-high qualifying result of sixth on Saturday, while William Byron, Ross Chastain, Ty Gibbs, and Ryan Blaney completed the top-10 and the drivers who advanced to the final round of time trials.

Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell, teammates from Joe Gibbs Racing, each failed to advance to the final round of qualifying on Saturday, thus relegating them to starting positions outside the top-10 in 11th and 13th, respectively.

After finishing second to Kyle Larson at Las Vegas, Bell enters Sunday’s 400-mile contest sitting just two points below the cutline – which is currently held (in a tie) between Hamlin and regular-season champion Martin Truex, Jr.

Chase Elliott, whose No. 9 Chevrolet is still involved in the NASCAR Cup Series Owner’s Playoffs, also failed to miss the final round of qualifying and will roll from 16th place in his Hooters-sponsored entry.

With a 23-point deficit to the cutline, Chris Buescher and RFK Racing will have the unfortunate designation of being labeled the slowest of the playoff-eligible drivers in time trials, placing his No. 17 Ford Mustang 17th on the speed charts.

Other notable drivers to qualify outside the top-10, include Alex Bowman (12th), Michael McDowell (15th), Kyle Busch (18th), Kevin Harvick (22nd), John Hunter Nemechek (24th), and Austin Cindric (26th).

Josh Bilicki was the slowest of the 35 drivers to post a time in qualifying on Saturday, running a lap of 33.364 seconds (161.851mph) – a time about a half-second off of 34th-place driver Ryan Newman.

Joey Logano, the defending champion of the NASCAR Cup Series, will start from last place when the green flag drops on Sunday afternoon, after a single-car accident in practice forced his Team Penske crew to unload and prepare a backup car.

The two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion is no longer in the battle for the title this season, after being bounced from the Playoffs after the ‘Round of 16’ concluded at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The 4EVER 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway – the second of three events in the ‘Round of 8’ – will take place on Sunday, October 22, 2023, at 2:30 PM ET on NBC, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).

Qualifying Results – NASCAR Cup Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Qualifying Results: NASCAR Cup Series 4EVER 400 at Homestead

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