Truex takes Darlington Cup pole
Toyota drivers Martin Truex Jr. and Bubba Wallace will start on the front row for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway.
Truex earned the pole with a lap of 169.409 mph. It is his first pole of the season, the 21st of his career, and his first at Darlington. Truex is a two-time Darlington winner, most recently in the spring 2021 event.
“Honestly, the guys made a really good adjustment,” Truex said of his run. “I felt like we left a little on the table in round one, and they made the adjustment to help me off (Turn) 4, and it helped. I was not really sure what kind of lap time we were going to need to run or how the tires would affect it, but we just nailed the balance really good, so I was definitely happy with that.
“I’m proud of all the guys, they’ve been working hard. Qualifying has never been our greatest thing, especially with this car last year. We struggled a lot in qualifying and have been working hard on that, so proud of them for that. The Auto-Owners Camry is really fast, so we’ll look to have some fun tomorrow.”
Sneak peak: Fox - NASCAR's greatest Darlington finish
Newman returns to Cup Series, but will only stay if it's 'fun'
NASCAR drivers torn on ground rules for fighting
Wallace qualified second at 169.339 mph. The effort is Wallace’s best in 10 starts at Darlington.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. qualified third at 168.752 mph, William Byron was fourth at 168.342 mph, and Ross Chastain took fifth at 168.094 mph. Chastain’s teammate, Daniel Suarez, qualified sixth at 167.836 mph.
Kyle Larson qualified seventh at 167.562 mph, Denny Hamlin was eighth at 167.4465 mph, Tyler Reddick was ninth at 167.311 mph, and Brad Keselowski 10th at 166.292 mph. Keselowski was the only Ford in the final round of qualifying.
Defending race winner Joey Logano qualified 15th. Logano clocked in at 168.764 mph.
Kevin Harvick qualified 20th and Chase Elliott took 21st. Josh Berry was 23rd in the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.
Ryan Newman qualified 26th for Rick Ware Racing in his return to NASCAR Cup Series competition. Sunday will be Newman’s first start since the 2021 season finale.
There are 36 drivers entered in the Goodyear 400.