Friday, Dec 01

NXS Qualifying Recap - Rookie Leads The Field

Saturday, Mar 12 1983
Qualifying to set the field for the Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 commenced this morning at Phoenix International Raceway. A total of 42 NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers, including four double‐duty racers, earned their starting positions by executing a knockout‐style, three‐round format.

Current points leader Daniel Suarez led round one with a lap time of 26.318, and a speed of 134.489 MPH. The driver of the No. 19 Juniper Networks Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing also finished second in two of the three practices held yesterday afternoon. He'll make his third top‐10 start in three races in the 'Valley Of the Sun'.

The second and third rounds were led by top‐ranked Sunoco Rookie driver Erik Jones, who would later grab the pole in the final round. This marks the 19 year old's first pole in four starts at Phoenix and his fourth in the Xfinity Series in 30 races. A teammate of Suarez, the driver of the No. 20 Resers Fine Foods Toyota posted a time of 26.507, a speed of 135.813 MPH. Jones also led the first two practice sessions on the one‐mile Arizona oval a day ago. To top it off, Jones was the fastest qualifying rookie.

While JGR claimed the top‐three starting positions, like they did a week ago in Vegas, hot on their heels is Ty Dillon. The driver of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing will start fourth. He posted a time and speed of 26.588, 135.399 MPH to secure his spot.

The 200‐lap race will roll off later this afternoon at 12:30 PM MT (track time), 2:30 PM ET. FOX (local), MRN and Sirius XM Channel 90 have the coverage.

Here's how the qualifying rounds stacked up:

Round 1

1. Daniel Suarez

2. Erik Jones

3. Chase Elliott

Round 2

1. Erik Jones

2. Kyle Busch

3. Darrell Wallace Jr.

Round 3

1. Erik Jones

2. Daniel Suarez

3. Kyle Busch

Top 10 Starters

1. Erik Jones

2. Daniel Suarez

3. Kyle Busch

4. Ty Dillon

5. Chase Elliott

6. Austin Dillon

7. Brad Keselowski

8. Brandon Jones

9. Darrell Wallace Jr.

10. Justin Allgaier
Katie Williams

Coming off the ranch, I didn’t have a motorsports background but my passion was and still is very strong. My first taste of NASCAR came at the age of seven while waiting for music videos to come on the old TNN network. As I grew up, I pursued other interest but eventually rediscovered cars going left when I found the SPEED channel during the 2011-2012 offseason.

I didn’t decide I wanted to pursue a career in NASCAR until the summer of 2012. I’m not a wrench head or strong enough for a pit crew so media was the next best thing. At the beginning of 2013, I started going to races and making connections within the sport. I also studied Motorsports Management at Sports Management Worldwide. Although I love what happens on the track, I’ve always been interested in what goes on behind the scenes and I’ve gotten to know many people throughout the radio, TV and digital media world.

While I’m a long time writer, 2015 was my first year actually covering the sport with . I also became a media correspondent for Raceline. I’ve been able to help the TV show gain recognition on social media. My current goal is to acquire more experience in covering NASCAR and move up the media ladder. Outside of motorsports, I have been an equine-sports statistician for 16 years.

I currently reside in Gillette, WY where I’m still involved with horses. I enjoy riding them, rodeo, swimming, traveling and meeting people.

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