Daniel Dye earned his first-career pole in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Friday afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway as the fastest following two rounds of qualifying to set the starting lineup for Saturday’s Fr8 208.

After opening with a third-best effort, the 20-year-old Florida native took the top spot with a best-lap of 174.246 mph (31.817 seconds) in his No. 43 McAnally Hilgemann Racing Chevy in round two and he will lead the 33-truck field to green in Saturday’s 135-lap Fr8 208 (2 p.m. ET, FS1 and MRN Radio).  

Dye will start alongside his teammate Tyler Ankrum on the front row. Ankrum posted a speed of 173.467 mph (31.960 seconds) in the second round of qualifying at the controls of his No. 18 McAnally Hilgemann Racing Chevy to take the second spot.

“It’s so cool,” Dye said after the run. “It’s super-exciting, but it’s awful watching and knowing that your teammates are also fast and still have to go. It’s going to look really good for our team starting on that front row tomorrow. Just super-proud of what we’ve got going on here this weekend.”

Their other teammate, defending event winner Christian Eckes, led the opening round with a speed of 172.678 mph in his No. 19 Chevy, and even though he improved to 172.893 mph in round two it was only good enough for fifth.

Ty Majeski qualified third in his No. 66 ThorSport Ford and was followed by Jack Wood in the No. 91 Chevy. Grant Enfinger will start sixth and join Eckes on the fourth row. NASCAR Cup Series regular Kyle Busch qualified seventh in his No. 7 Group 1001 Chevrolet with a speed of 172.587 mph.

Defending series champ Ben Rhodes qualified 14th in his No. 99 ThorSport machine. Other notable starters are last weekend’s Daytona winner Nick Sanchez, who qualified 18th in his No. 2 Chevy. Last year’s regular season champ Corey Heim qualified 19th in his No. 11 TRICON Garage machine.  

Veteran Cup Series driver Ty Dillon, who will pilot the No. 25 Rackley Roofing Chevy full-time this season, qualified 17th.

Tomorrow’s racing also will include qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series to set the starting lineup for Sunday’s Ambetter Health 400. The RAPTOR King of Tough 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race also will be held Saturday with the green flag scheduled for 5 p.m.

AMS PR