Rain nixes Cup qualifying at Loudon, Elliott on pole

The streak is over.

Rain ultimately led NASCAR to cancel Saturday’s planned Cup Series qualifying session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, ending a run of 39 consecutive race weekends where the series was able to hold qualifying – the longest since Aug. 2000.

While storm cells west of the track have provided a threat throughout the day, it was a pop-up shower that hampered qualifying. Rain arrived between the conclusion of a morning Whelen Modified Tour race and Cup practice, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET.

With only 36 entries present and all teams locked into the field, NASCAR elected to call of qualifying and focus on trying to secure teams practice time. The starting lineup was set by NASCAR’s performance metric.


After taking the points lead for the first time since 2022 at Iowa Speedway, Chase Elliott will lead the field to green in Sunday’s race. He’ll be joined by Iowa winner and defending champion Ryan Blaney on the front row.

The Magic Mile’s been a challenge for Elliott and the No. 9 team. The Georgian has just three top 10s in 10 starts at New Hampshire, with a best finish of second in 2022. Chevrolet teams have collectively struggled at the track, winning just once in the facility’ past 17 Cup races dating back to 2012.

William Byron, Christopher Bell and Alex Bowman will complete the top five, with Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Ross Chastain, Brad Keselowski and Josh Berry wrapping up the top 10.

Elliott’s teammate and closest challenger in points, Kyle Larson, will roll off 19th. Larson sits eight points behind Elliott at the top of the regular season standings.

Sunday’s USA Today 301 is set to go live at 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.


Story originally appeared on Racer