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Sam Mayer Continues Xfinity Series Hot Streak with Portland Pole

Photo Credit: Aaron Giffin, TobyChristie.com

Albeit somewhat quietly, Sam Mayer is lighting it up in the NASCAR Xfinity Series right now, a trend continued with a pole position for Saturday’s Pacific Office Automation 147 at Portland International Speedway.

The JR Motorsports driver, who has five finishes of fourth or better in his last six outings, picked up his second career pole at the 1.967-mile road course, posting a lap of 73.375 seconds (96.654mph).

Arguably more impressive than the pole itself, is who he outran to secure it, beating three-time Supercars champion Shane Van Gisbergen by nearly a half-tenth of a second, and will start alongside the NASCAR Cup Series winner when Saturday’s event goes green.

Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Riley Herbst and Cole Custer swept the second row for Saturday’s 147-mile contest in Portland, Oregon, qualifying third and fourth, while Justin Allgaier rounded out the top five.

Sheldon Creed and Parker Kligerman, two drivers who have had a strong history on road courses, slotted into sixth and seventh place, with Josh Bilicki solidifying a career-best qualifying result of eighth place, in his first run with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Sammy Smith was the slowest of the drivers to post a time in the second round, slotting in ninth.

AJ Allmendinger will be credited with a 10th-place starting spot in Saturday’s event but will have to drop to the rear of the pack after crashing in the closing seconds of the opening round of qualifying, forcing Kaulig Racing to unload a backup car.

Other notable drivers that failed to advance to the final round of qualifying include Chandler Smith (11th), Jesse Love (12th), Ryan Truex (13th), Austin Hill (18th), Anthony Alfredo (19th), Brandon Jones (20th), and Josh Williams (22nd).

Hailie Deegan, who has a new crew chief this weekend in Matt Lucas, will start shotgun on the field in the No. 15 AirBox Ford Mustang for AM Racing, posting a time of 77.178 seconds (91.891mph).

Frankie Muniz, driving the No. 35 Ford Performance Ford Mustang for Joey Gase Motorsports, was the sole DNQ for Saturday’s Pacific Office Automation 147, after the entry grenaded an engine in practice, forcing the team to sit out qualifying.

Muniz was attempting to make his third Xfinity Series start, and his first on a road course.

Starting Lineup: NASCAR Xfinity Series Pacific Office Automation 147 at Portland

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