DARLINGTON, S.C. – Ryan Blaney hopes to close his season tenure with Team Penske’s NASCAR Xfinity Series program with a bang this weekend at Darlington Raceway.
He got that mission off to a rousing start on Saturday afternoon by securing the pole for the Sport Clips Haircuts/VFW 200 at the historic 1.366-mile, egg-shaped oval.
Blaney toured the track in 28.696 seconds (171.369 mph) with the No. 12 Bodyarmor Ford Mustang to earn the top starting spot on the grid. It’s his first pole in three Xfinity Series starts at Darlington.
“It’s nice,” said Blaney of having track position. “Honestly, I didn’t think I got the best lap. I got … we got through one and two pretty good, but I thought I missed (turn) three. Going back to switching between cars, I kind of drove it in like a Cup car and I thought I really hurt myself, but it slid and stuck and I was able to keep going.
“I’m really proud of this (No.) 12 group. It’s my second (and) last race for them for this year, so it’s really cool to have a good start to the day,” Blaney added. “Hopefully we can end it just as good. Thanks to Bodyarmor for being part of this deal. It should be a fun one today.”
Christopher Bell will join Blaney on the front row, after a lap of 28.828 seconds (170.584 mph) with his No. 20 Rheem/Ruud Toyota Supra. Bell is a six-time race winner so far this season.
Cole Custer and Justin Allgaier will share the second row of the grid, while Chase Briscoe completed the top five.
Reigning Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick will start sixth, followed by Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson, Austin Cindric and Michael Annett.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., making his first Xfinity Series start since Richmond (Va.) Raceway last September, will roll off 14th in the No. 8 Hellmann’s Chevrolet Camaro, throwing back to his father’s Cup debut in 1975.
To view complete qualifying results, advance to the next page.