Saturday, Sep 23

NCS: Christopher Bell wins Pole for Sunday’s Playoff opener at Darlington

Christopher Bell will lead the field in NASCAR’s Cup Series playoff opener at Darlington Raceway after he posted the fastest lap in qualifying.

Bell won the pole with a lap of 169.193 mph. For Bell, this marks his seventh career Cup series pole and his third pole in the past eight Cup series races.

Bell’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin will start alongside him in second after he posted a lap of 169.042 mph.

Rounding out the top five were Tyler Reddick in third with a lap of 168.972 mph, Ryan Blaney in fourth with a lap of 168.273 mph and Brad Keselowski was fifth with a lap of 168.227 mph.

Kyle Busch, who made contact with the wall prior to qualifying in practice will start 11th. Busch recorded a time of 169.397 mph as he was the top Chevrolet driver in qualifying.

All Ford’s would round out the top ten in qualifying. Joey Logano in sixth, Kevin Harvick in seventh, Chris Buescher in eighth, Michael McDowell in ninth and Aric Almirola in tenth.

Carson Hocevar, who will be making his second career Cup series start on Sunday qualified 15th with a lap of 168.677 mph.

Martin Truex Jr., who won the Regular Season Championship last Saturday at Daytona International Speedway would be the lowest qualifying playoff driver. Truex was 31st with a lap of 166.913 mph.

The green flag for tomorrow’s playoff opener at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for 6:19 p.m. Eastern on USA Network.


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