NXS Lineups

NXS: Poole wins pole, eight of top-ten are Xfinity regulars


Score one for the regulars, Brennan Poole won the pole for Friday night’s Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona. At 182.949 mph Poole led the NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars to a dominating qualifying effort where three of the top-five are series rookies.

Ben Kennedy, the great grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., placed second in his No.2 Rheem Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. Not competing full time in the NXS Kennedy will be looking to capitalize on this opportunity. The rest of the top-five has been stacked with, William Byron the newest winner in the NXS, series mainstay Blake Koch, and Richard Childress’ rookie Daniel Hemric. All five of these drivers sped to the start/finish line within .116 seconds of each other; per the usual, the competition stout and balanced for tonight’s restrictor plate race.

Four NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Regulars are entered in the 250 mile race: Daniel Suarez, Joey Logano, Erik Jones, and Ty Dillon. Suarez and Logano qualified in the top-ten, coming in eighth and tenth respectively.

Ty Dillon rolls down pit road. Photo by Jonathan McCoy.

A fourth rookie, Matt Tifft, placed sixth in the last round of qualifying, adding the total number of rookies in the top-ten to four. Behind him clocked Elliott Sadler, Suarez, Gaughan, and Logano.

Ray Black Jr. was fast enough to start in the 30th starting position, but in Thursday’s final practice session he was the fastest overall. If he can avoid the wrecks he’ll be more of a contender than some fans may anticipate.

Cole Custer looks on as his team prepares his new No. 00 Stewart Hass Chevrolet. Photo by Jonathan McCoy.

Cole Custer and Spencer Gallagher haven’t had the same fortunes as the rest of the rookie crop – during a practice session on Thursday Gallagher cut down a left-rear tire. Gallagher felt the tire coming a part as he drove down the back stretch, approaching turn-three. In an attempt to keep it off the outer wall Gallagher sent his car sideways, leading to a drivers side collision between him and Custer. Both rookies have gone to back up cars, Custer will start 19 and Gallagher will roll of the grid 22.

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