NCWTS Fred's 250 Presented by Coca-Cola Qualifying Report
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series hit Talladega Superspeedway's 2.66-mile high banks for qualifying for the Fred's 250 Presented by Coca-Cola on Saturday, October 14. The session would be split into two rounds, with each truck making a single qualifying run by themselves. The top 12 qualifiers would advance to round two.
The first driver to make an attempt was Josh Reaume. His speed of 160.874 mph put him on top of the pole, where he would stay for a brief time.
Fluid on the track would pause qualifying for several minutes after only two trucks had taken their turn. Norm Benning (149.876 mph) appeared to have been the culprit. The track crew got the surface cleaned up and qualifying would then resume.
Mike Harmon (167.141 mph) would bump Reaume from atop the pole, and he would soon be dispatched by Wendell Chavous (172.113 mph). Joe Nemechek (174.096 mph) would be the third consecutive qualifier to grab the provisional pole.
Spencer Boyd (169.011 mph), Jennifer Jo Cobb (166.559 mph), Vinnie Miller (173.302 mph) would all take times. Bobby Gerhart (173.746 mph) and D.J. Kennington (173.948 mph) also made attempts, but none could wrestle the top spot away from "Front Row" Joe.
Tyler Young hit the track for his attempt and did something extraordinary. He tied Joe Nemecheck's lap time at 55.004 seconds. Because of his position in the season point standings, Young would receive the spot.
While Gerhart was on track for his attempt, NASCAR officials sent Young out too soon for his attempt. Since it may have affected their times, NASCAR decided to allow both teams another attempt to qualify.
Clay Greenfield (176.445 mph) would topple Young from the top spot. Austin Wayne Self (174.420 mph) would slot in behind Greenfield. Ryan Truex (177.867 mph) would then take the top spot with his attempt.
The first playoff contender to make an attempt was Christopher Bell (180.041 mph). He put his No. 4 truck on the provisional pole with a time of 53.188.
Noah Gragson (177.573 mph), who according to reports was feeling under the weather, could not grab the top spot, but had a time that would advance him to the qualifying round of 12.
Myatt Snider (177.310 mph) laid down a lap that would advance him to the second round. Stuart Friesen (178.927 mph) had a speed that was good enough to jump to second on the chart.
Bobby Gerhart (173.127 mph) then made his "make up" attempt. Tyler Young (174.770 mph) made his second run as well. Chris Fontaine (176.097 mph) would also make an attempt.
BKR teammates and playoff contenders Chase Briscoe (178.314 mph) and Austin Cindric (178.029 mph) made back-to-back attempts. Both had times that would advance them to the top 12. Another playoff driver, Kaz Grala (179.058 mph), put in a time that would advance him as well.
Matt Crafton (177.392 mph) took to the track for his attempt and slotted in at eighth quick. Former winner Parker Kligerman's (176.891 mph) time put him in danger of not advancing to round two. Johnny Sauter's (179.138 mph) attempt, on the other hand, placed him solidly into position to advance. He jumped to the second spot.
Grant Enfinger (177.245 mph), last year's race winner, was next on track. He slotted in on the cut line in 12th and in danger of being bumped. Enfinger's time did move Kligerman outside of the top 12.
Justin Haley (178.797 mph) and Ben Rhodes (177.264 mph) would bump Enfinger. Regan Smith (174.043 mph) and Cody Coughlin (175.842 mph) could not crack the top 12 and would not advance to round two.
John Hunter Nemechek (176.598 mph) would be the final qualifier in round one. John Hunter's truck had a bed flap deploy during his attempt, no doubt slowing his time considerably. The flap is a safety device put in place to keep the truck on the ground if it gets turned around. His dad and teammate, Joe, experienced a similar problem on his run. John Hunter would fail to advance to the second round. He would be the only championship contender not to advance to the final round of qualifying.
Drivers advancing to the second round of qualifying: Christopher Bell, Johnny Sauter, Kaz Grala, Stuart Friesen, Justin Haley, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Ryan Truex, Noah Gragson, Matt Crafton, Myatt Snider, Ben Rhodes.
Starting order for positions 13 to 31: Grant Enfinger, Parker Kligerman, John Hunter Nemechek, Clay Greenfield, Chris Fontaine, Cody Coughlin, Tyler Young, Austin Wayne Self, Joe Nemechek, Regan Smith, D. J. Kennington, Vinnie Miller, Bobby Gerhart, Wendell Chavous, Spencer Boyd, Mike Harmon, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Josh Reaume, Norm Benning.
No drivers would miss the race due to qualifying.
Before round two would begin, there was drama for Kaz Grala and his team. They found oil in the cooling system, which signaled a major problem with the motor. The team would change lines and flush as much fluid as possible but they would be under the gun for the start of today's race. There would be less than two hours before the green flag. Grala would not make an attempt in round two.
Final Round qualifying started with Ben Rhodes (176.885 mph) taking the track for his attempt. Myatt Snider (176.917 mph) would be next out, trying to take the top spot from Rhodes. Snider would be successful and sit on the provisional pole for the moment.
Former series champion Matt Crafton (175.594 mph) would be the next to make an attempt. Crafton would be another driver to experience an issue with the bed flaps on his truck during this attempt.
Ryan Truex (177.330 mph) would take a shot at Snider and would take the pole position away. Austin Cindric (177.557 mph) would immediately knock Truex from the top spot. Chase Briscoe (177.771 mph) would then take the pole from his teammate.
The swapping of the pole position would continue. Going out next, Justin Haley (178.188 mph) jumped to the top of the chart. Stuart Friesen (178.753 mph) would follow suit and sit atop the pole. Johnny Sauter (179.027 mph) would be the next to go to the top.
Christopher Bell (180.118 mph), who had the fastest time in round one, would be the final driver to qualify. His time of 53.165 sec was better than Sauter by .324 sec. Bell was the only driver to go faster in round two. By being the fastest qualifier, Christopher Bell captured his fourth career pole.
Starting positions 1 to 12: Christopher Bell, Johnny Sauter, Stuart Friesen, Justin Haley, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Ryan Truex, Noah Gragson, Myatt Snider, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Kaz Grala.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races the Fred's 250 Presented by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway today, October 14 at 1 p.m. ET. (FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
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