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Shane Van Gisbergen Smashes Track Record to Earn First Xfinity Pole at Sonoma

Photo Credit: Aaron Giffin, TobyChristie.com

The Australian Supercars have never contested an event at Sonoma Raceway, but looking at the performance by Shane Van Gisbergen this weekend, you would think he’d been to the 1.99-mile road course at least a dozen times.

Fresh off his first Xfinity Series win last weekend at Portland, the 34-year-old racer gapped the field significantly in Saturday’s qualifying session, posting a time of 74.677 seconds (95.933mph) to snag the pole by nearly four tenths over NASCAR Cup Series regular Ty Gibbs.

It’s the 16th pole position in the second-tier series for Kaulig Racing, exactly half of which have come on road courses courtesy of AJ Allmendinger.

As previously mentioned, Gibbs posted a lap good enough for second place on the grid for Saturday’s 250-mile contest, albeit 0.372 seconds off the pace of Van Gisbergen. Austin Hill ranked third in the final round of qualifying, with AJ Allmendinger and Justin Allgaier completing the top five.

Xfinity Series rookie Jesse Love qualified sixth for Richard Childress Racing, with John Hunter Nemechek, Sam Mayer, Sheldon Creed, and Sammy Smith completing the top-10, via making the final round of qualifying.

Notable drivers missing out on that valuable top-10 starting spot include Chandler Smith (11th), Cole Custer (12th), Parker Kligerman (14th), Riley Herbst (15th), Brandon Jones (27th), and Boris Said (35th).

Said, driving for Hendrick Motorsports in the No. 17, ran several laps in the opening round of qualifying on Saturday to shakedown a backup car, which had to be unloaded after a massive shunt in practice on Friday.

Sage Karam, driving the No. 35 Rich Mar Florist Toyota GR Supra for Joey Gase Motorsports, failed to qualify for the event after not being quick enough in the opening round. This weekend marks the third straight DNQ for the team after missing Charlotte (Akinori Ogata) and Portland (Frankie Muniz).

Starting Lineup: NASCAR Xfinity Series Zip Buy Now, Pay Later 250 at Sonoma

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