Chandler Smith earned the NASCAR Xfinity Series pole Friday afternoon for the Ambetter Health 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in his Kaulig Racing No. 16 Chevrolet with a 126.291 mph lap. It was his second consecutive pole, mirroring his effort at Atlanta Motor Speedway last week and his third Xfinity Series career pole.
No one was more surprised than Smith who said, “I knew Kaulig Racing brought me a really fast Quick Tie Products Camaro but I thought I did a horrible job on my part.”
John Hunter Nemechek will start beside Smith on the front row after posting a 126.123 mph lap in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. JR Motorsports had a strong showing with drivers Josh Berry, Justin Allgaier and Brandon Jones completing the top five starting positions. Cole Custer, Sammy Smith, Austin Hill, Austin Dillon and Sam Mayer rounded out the top 10 in the qualifying session.
During practice on Friday Ryan Sieg lost the brakes in his No. 39 RSS Racing Ford Mustang and crashed into the No. 26 Sam Hunt Racing Toyota driven by Kaz Grala. As a result, both drivers will go to backup cars and start at the rear of the field.
“Man, that’s frustrating,“ Grala said after the incident. “That was probably the fastest we’ve unloaded all year.”
The Xfinity Series Ambetter Health 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is set for 3 p.m. ET Saturday on USA with radio coverage on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.