Joe Gibbs Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. earned his first pole position in four seasons, taking the top starting spot in Saturday qualifying with a lap of 127.113 mph at the 1.058-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
He’ll start the No. 19 JGR Toyota in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter 301 (3 p.m. ET, USA, NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) alongside last week’s race winner, Chase Elliott in the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Truex last started on pole at Kentucky Speedway in 2018 – one of two race wins from pole in the last three times he’s started out front. Another showing like that this week would be key for Truex, who is still racing for his first victory in 2022. The 42-year-old driver’s best showing is a fourth place at Richmond, 13 races ago.
It’s the second pole position for Truex at New Hampshire – last earning the top starting spot in his 2017 championship season – and 20th pole position of his career.
“You always want to be the fastest guy, you know, whether it’s practice, qualifying or the race,” Truex said. “And we got a small victory today. So, victories are all good, and hopefully we can make it work for us tomorrow, which is obviously a lot more important.”
Kurt Busch and his 23XI Racing teammate Bubba Wallace will start their Toyotas on the second row, followed by another Toyota, JGR’s Christopher Bell, who has three Xfinity Series wins at the track and finished runner-up to Aric Almirola in last year’s NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire.
Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron – who was fastest in practice – qualified sixth, followed by the defending winner Almirola, reigning series champion Kyle Larson, two-time New Hampshire race winner Brad Keselowski and four-time New Hampshire winner Kevin Harvick.
It’s the best start for Keselowski, in his first year as co-owner of the No. 6 RFK Racing Ford, since a third-place qualifying effort at Daytona – his only other top-10 start of the season.
The 36-car field was split into two groups, with the top five in each qualifying bracket advancing to the 10-car final round. Elliott logged the best lap in Group A qualifying, and Busch was the pace-setter for Group B.
Each group had 20 minutes of practice as a prelude to the qualifying session. William Byron was fastest in the Group A session — and fastest overall — at 127.483 mph in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Teammate Kyle Larson’s No. 5 Chevy led Group B with a best speed of 127.091 mph, good for fourth overall.
|1||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Interstate Batteries Toyota||29.964||127.113|
|2||9||Chase Elliott||NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet||30.009||126.922|
|3||45||Kurt Busch||SiriusXM Radio Toyota||30.032||126.825|
|4||23||Bubba Wallace||Draft Kings Toyota||30.106||126.513|
|5||20||Christopher Bell||Rheem/WATTS Toyota||30.127||126.425|
|6||24||William Byron||Liberty University Chevrolet||30.136||126.387|
|7||10||Aric Almirola||Smithfield Ford||30.219||126.04|
|8||5||Kyle Larson||HendrickCars.com Chevrolet||30.224||126.019|
|9||6||Brad Keselowski||Kohler Generators Ford||30.409||125.252|
|10||4||Kevin Harvick||GEARWRENCH Ford||0||0|
|11||12||Ryan Blaney||Menards/Libman Ford||29.997||126.973|
|12||22||Joey Logano||Shell Pennzoil Ford||30.056||126.723|
|13||8||Tyler Reddick||Guaranteed Rate Chevrolet||30.186||126.178|
|14||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Ground Toyota||30.187||126.174|
|15||34||Michael McDowell||FloRacing Ford||30.267||125.84|
|16||17||Chris Buescher||Fastenal Ford||30.293||125.732|
|17||18||Kyle Busch||DeWalt Toyota||30.312||125.653|
|18||1||Ross Chastain||Worldwide Express Chevrolet||30.332||125.57|
|19||99||Daniel Suarez||SLAM! Chevrolet||30.364||125.438|
|20||16||AJ Allmendinger(i)||Gold Fish Casino Slots Chevrolet||30.391||125.327|
|21||7||Corey LaJoie||Built.com Chevrolet||30.41||125.248|
|22||43||Erik Jones||FOCUSfactor Chevrolet||30.422||125.199|
|23||41||Cole Custer||HaasTooling.com Ford||30.455||125.063|
|24||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Kroger/Minute Rice Chevrolet||30.461||125.039|
|25||31||Justin Haley||LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet||30.476||124.977|
|26||38||Todd Gilliland #||Chicago Pneumatic Compressors Ford||30.523||124.785|
|27||48||Alex Bowman||Ally Chevrolet||30.584||124.536|
|28||2||Austin Cindric #||Autotrader Ford||30.601||124.467|
|29||14||Chase Briscoe||Mahindra Tractors Ford||30.675||124.166|
|30||3||Austin Dillon||Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Off Road Chevrolet||30.759||123.827|
|31||21||Harrison Burton #||Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford||30.785||123.723|
|32||78||BJ McLeod(i)||MyMochi Ice Cream Ford||30.885||123.322|
|33||15||JJ Yeley(i)||Adirondack Tree Surgeons Ford||31.064||122.611|
|34||77||Josh Bilicki(i)||Zeigler Auto/Ditec Marine Chevrolet||31.101||122.466|
|35||42||Ty Dillon||Allegiant Chevrolet||31.288||121.734|
|36||51||Cody Ware||Nurtec ODT Ford||31.359||121.458|