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Austin Hill, Jesse Love Sweep Front Row for RCR Again; Garrett Smithley Time Disallowed

Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images

Entering Friday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying session from Talladega Superspeedway, everybody knew that an entry from Richard Childress Racing would be on the pole. But, what people didn’t know, was whether it would be Austin Hill or Jesse Love.

Turns out, it’s eight-time Xfinity Series winner Austin Hill, driving the No. 21 Bennett Transportation Chevrolet Camaro, who scored his fifth career pole in the second-tier series, posting a blistering time in the final round of qualifying from the 2.66-mile superspeedways.

Hill posted a lap of 52.723 seconds (181.629) in the second round of qualifying to score the pole position ahead of Richard Childress Racing teammate Jesse Love. It’s the sixth consecutive pole position on a traditional superspeedway for the organization — of races that featured a complete qualifying session.

Parker Kligerman, driving the No. 48 for Big Machine Racing – an entry heavily aligned with Richard Childress Racing – posted the third-quickest qualifying time around the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Cole Custer was fourth-quickest, with Sammy Smith rounding out the top five for JR Motorsports.

Ryan Truex was in sixth place, with Chandler Smith, Riley Herbst, Josh Williams, and Sheldon Creed completing the top-10 in Friday’s single-vehicle qualifying session.

Patrick Emerling, driving the No. 07 Chevrolet for SS-GreenLight Racing, secured a career-best qualifying effort of 12th for Saturday’s 300-mile contest. Joey Gase, driving the No. 35 Chevrolet for Joey Gase Motorsports, also had a strong effort, qualifying 17th.

Other notable runs include a 20th-place effort for David Starr and MBM Motorsports, as well as a surprisingly difficult 24th-place starting spot for Brandon Jones and JR Motorsports. Meanwhile, closer to the rear of the pack, Jordan Anderson Racing teammates Jordan Anderson and Jeb Burton each struggled significantly in qualifying.

Burton, the winner last Spring at this very racetrack, was forced to use a Past Winners Provisional (PWP) to get into the field for Saturday’s event, after posting the 36th-quickest time of the 39 drivers entered in the event at Talladega.

Mason Massey, driving the No. 14 for SS-GreenLight Racing, was originally listed as the sole DNQ for Saturday’s event. However, as first reported by, the No. 6 Chevrolet driven by Garrett Smithley failed post-qualifying inspection, promoting the SS-GreenLight Racing entry into the field.

Qualifying Results: NXS Ag-Pro 300 at Talladega Superspeedway

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