BRISTOL, Tenn. – Cole Custer swept through NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying on Saturday morning at Bristol Motor Speedway en route to the pole for the Alsco 300.
Custer led the way in all three knockout rounds, but it was his final-round lap of 15.168 seconds (126.503 mph) with the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang that gave him his seventh-career pole and first of the season.
“I thought our lap on that last run was slower that our first two, but it was actually quicker,” said Custer, who was also the pole winner for last year’s spring race at Bristol. “I feel like our car has been fast all weekend, but you know the track’s going to change, so we’ll keep on top of it and adjust throughout the race. We’re going to have to move around the whole time, though.
“I think we’re going to be running the top (in the race),” Custer added. “It seems like the VHT is wearing out pretty quick.”
Tyler Reddick, driving a special Dolly Parton scheme this weekend in Tennessee, will join Custer on the front row after qualifying second at 15.255 seconds (125.782 mph) in the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro.
“It’s really cool to get Dolly on the front row with us. It’s a shame that we couldn’t get a little bit more,” Reddick said. “I talked to my crew chief though, and when I asked him how much we needed, he said we needed a tenth and I knew we were nowhere close to Cole, so hats off to him and Mike Shiplett.”
Reddick was also highest among the four Dash 4 Cash contenders in qualifying on Saturday morning.
“It’s something that you’ll keep an eye on at times, but the win is equally as important for us,” he added.
The Fords of Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric will share row two, with rookie Harrison Burton qualifying fifth with the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for his first-ever Xfinity Series start.
Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Christopher Bell, Michael Annett, John Hunter Nemechek, Justin Haley and Ross Chastain completed the top dozen and each advanced through all three knockout rounds.
Brandon Jones, who dominated last year’s spring Xfinity Series race at Bristol, was the first driver who failed to advance to the final round of qualifying on Saturday morning.
He’ll start 13th (15.490/123.873) later in the afternoon with the No. 19 Menards Toyota Supra.
“It seemed like the traction compound just gained grip when we went back out for our second run,” Jones noted. “When I was on track in round two, I had a bit more chatter tight than I’d had before. I could tell I was driving harder, and I needed to because I was getting beat in some spots, but I think we just under-adjusted on the car a little bit for what I needed there to be able to make the final round.”
Other notables buried in the field include Zane Smith (16th) and Kyle Weatherman (24th).
Both Stephen Leicht and Jeff Green had their qualifying times disallowed for failing to post a lap during the second round of qualifying. They’ll start 36th and 37th, respectively, in the 300-lap race.
To view complete qualifying results, advance to the next page.