JAG Metals 350 Qualifying Report
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualified for the JAG Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway this afternoon, Friday, November 3, for the race later this evening (8 p.m. FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The JAG Metals 350 is the second race in the Round of 6. Qualifying would be a single-truck format broken into two rounds. Round one would set positions 13 - 32. The final round would set positions 1 - 12.
The first truck onto the 1.5-mile quad oval was Ted Minor (158.344 mph). His sit atop the pole was short-lived, as Josh Reume, the second qualifier, turned a lap of 169.710 mph to jump to the top. Norm Benning (162.333 mph), Mike Senica (153.387 mph) and J.J. Yeley (173.405 mph) followed, with Yeley being the only driver to best the lap of Reume.
Gray Gaulding took his attempt and he jumped to the top of the pole with a speed of 178.448 mph. Gaulding was followed by Joe Nemechek (177.416 mph), Ray Ciccarelli (168.871 mph), Jennifer Jo Cobb (167.276 mph), Wendell Chavous (177.989 mph), Patrick Emerling (175.256 mph) and Jordan Anderson (174.520 mph). No of those qualifiers were able to knock Gaulding from the top spot.
Austin Wayne Self made his attempt and was able to take the provisional pole away from Gaulding with a speed of 180.650 mph. From this point, the spot atop the pole saw a lot of action.
Regan Smith (181.867 mph) bested Self with the very next qualifying attempt. Matt Crafton (183.874 mph) was the next driver on the track and he beat out Smith. Cody Coughlin (181.641 mph), Stewart Friesen (181.159 mph), Tyler Young (182.359 mph) and Austin Hill (181.020 mph) gave the top spot a rest when they could not run faster than Crafton.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Chase Briscoe was next to make an attempt. Briscoe put up a speed that placed him second at the time at 182.513 mph. But the next driver, Ryan Truex, blew Briscoe's time away.
Truex's qualifying speed of 184.609 mph shot him well on top of the grid. Ryan had taken the pole position at the last two 1.5-mile tracks where the NCWTS had raced.
Christopher Bell (184.043 mph), Kaz Grala (183.119 mph) and Ben Rhodes (183.886 mph) all made attempts. None were able to force their way to the top but all would advance to round two.
Noah Gragson (184.206 mph) jumped to second with his turn. John Hunter Nemechek, looking for a good starting spot after a disappointing finish at Martinsville in race one of the Round of 6, turned a lap of 182.476 mph. Defending series champion and defending race winner Johnny Sauter (184.514 mph) would follow. All three would have speeds good enough to advance to the final round of qualifying.
All of these first round attempts would lead up to the main event. Justin Haley set a new track record with a speed of 185.370. That speed would be enough to place Justin in the top position going to the final round of qualifying.
Austin Cindric (184.219 mph) and Myatt Snyder (184.451 mph) would make attempts that would get them into the final round. Grant Enfinger, the fastest truck in practice, would get sideways on his qualifying lap, laying down a disappointing speed of 180.427 mph and missing a chance to qualify for the pole in the final round. Tommy Joe Martins did not make a qualifying attempt in round one. All six remaining playoff drivers would make the final round of qualifying.
Starting positions 13 - 32, in order: Young, Smith, Coughlin, Friesen, Hill, Self, Enfinger, Gaulding, Chavous, Joe Nemechek, Emerling, Anderson, Yeley, Reaume, Ciccarelli, Cobb, Benning, Minor, Senica, Martins.
Advancing to final round qualifying: Haley, Truex, Sauter, Snider, Cindric, Gragson, Bell, Rhodes, Crafton, Grala, Briscoe, John Hunter Nemechek.
The first truck to hit he track in pole qualifying belonged to John Hunter Nemechek. His speed of 182.051 mph was slower than his time in round one and would net him the 11th starting position.
Last week's pole winner, Chase Briscoe, was next to make an attempt. His speed of 183.849 mph was better than his time in round one, but Chase would only net the 10th starting position with this lap.
Kaz Grala went out third. His speed of 184.571 mph was better than his speed in round one and would garner him the seventh starting spot.
Matt Crafton's lap (184.351 mph) from the fourth qualifying spot would place him eighth on the grid.
Ben Rhodes would end up just behind Crafton in the fifth starting spot. Rhodes qualifying speed was 183.861 mph.
Christopher Bell's attempt would be the starting point from where the real show of speed would begin. Bell's speed of 185.982 mph would set a track record, although it would be short lived.
Next out was Noah Gragson. His attempt to beat his teammate, Bell, would be successful. He would establish the record at 186.053 mph. With the speed being shown, Gragson's hold onto the pole, and the record, appeared to be short-lived as well.
Austin Cindric (184.887 mph) would find some impressive speed, but it would only be good enough to gain him the sixth starting position.
Myatt Snider would add some excitement to the round. Unfortunately it wasn't because of his speed, but it was attributed to his car control. Myatt got extremely sideways on his attempt, but made the save and stayed off the wall. His lap speed was 177.101 mph.
Reigning series champion Johnny Sauter ran a speed of 185.861 mph on his attempt. It began to look as though Gragson's speed may be fast enough to hold on to the pole.
The truck of Ryan Truex made a run at the pole, but could only find a lap of 184.894 mph. Not quite good enough to take the top position.
One last driver, Justin Haley, remained to make an attempt. He had been the fastest qualifier in round one. Haley laid down a blazing lap of 186.181 mph to take the pole for the evening's race.
Justin set two records with his qualifying attempt. He set the track record for the NCWTS at Texas Motor Speedway and he also became the youngest pole winner in series history. His lap was the fifth fastest of all-time in the series and is the fastest qualifying lap not run at Daytona or Talladega.
Positions 1 - 12, in order: Haley, Gragson, Bell, Sauter, Truex, Cindric, Grala, Crafton, Rhodes, Briscoe, Nemechek, Snider.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series runs the JAG Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway tonight, Friday, November 3, at 8 p.m. ET. (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
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