LOUDON, N.H. — Christopher Bell picked up where he left off last year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and won the pole for Sunday’s Crayon 301.
Bell will share the front row with teammate Martin Truex Jr. Last year, Truex led the most laps in this race but Bell won and locked himself into the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
In eight NASCAR starts at NHMS, Bell has five wins and two runner-up finishes, including that win and a runner-up finish in the last two Cup Series races.
Aric Almirola nearly upset the Joe Gibbs Racing front row. He clocked in the third-fastest lap in the final round and will start third Sunday.
Penske Racing teammates Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney will start fourth and fifth. Logano ran the fastest lap in his group.
Tyler Reddick, William Byron, Bubba Wallace, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch round out the top 10.
Byron qualified seventh despite not having any power steering while running a lap in the final round on the 1.058-mile track.
Busch’s team have a lot of work to do before hitting the grid, however. The two-time Cup Series champion spun in turn one and backed into the outside wall.
Hendrick Motorsports struggled to find speed. Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman missed the final round of qualifying and will start 15th, 18th and 25th, respectively.
Michael McDowell ran the fastest lap in practice and will start 17th.
Ty Gibbs will start shotgun on the field – 36th – after sliding sideways in turn two during his lap.
Ross Chastain also struggled with speed. He’ll start 31st.
Part-time drivers BJ McLeod, Ryan Newman and Cole Custer will start 32nd through 34th.
The Crayon 301 goes green Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET (Broadcast: USA, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.