Christopher Bell tops qualifying to claim pole for Cup Series race at New Hampshire

Christopher Bell won the Busch Light Pole Award at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with a fast lap of 124.781 mph during qualifying Saturday afternoon. He will lead the field to green in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for Sunday’s Cup Series Crayon 301.

It is his first pole this season and the fifth of his Cup Series career. Bell is also the defending race winner at the 1.058-mile track.

Bell described his qualifying run, saying, “It’s crazy how much difference the temperature can change the cars. These things are really sliding around. You’re on the edge here for sure.”

His JGR teammate, Martin Truex Jr. will join Bell on the front row in his No. 19 Toyota after a 124.781 mph lap.  

“It’s really difficult to get the balance the way you want it,” Truex said. “Overall, we were fast. We’re excited to be here in New Hampshire. We’ve been after a win here for a while.”

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola will start third in the No. 10 Ford with Team Penske Ford drivers, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney, rounding out the top five starters.

Tyler Reddick, William Byron, Bubba Wallace, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch will complete the top 10.

Notably, Busch had damage after hitting the wall during practice but his No. 8 Chevrolet was repaired by the team before qualifying. But his troubles continued when, at the end of his qualifying lap, he spun and made contact with the outside wall. He was however credited by NASCAR for the 10th fastest lap.  

Inspection was held before practice Saturday and Noah Gragson’s No. 42 Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet failed twice. NASCAR ejected engineer Phillip Bell and the team will lose pit-stall selection for Sunday’s race.

You can tune into Sunday’s Cup Series Crayon 301 at 3 p.m. ET on USA, the NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Starting Lineup:

  1. Christopher Bell
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Aric Almirola
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Ryan Blaney
  6. Tyler Reddick
  7. William Byron
  8. Bubba Wallace
  9. Brad Keselowski
  10. Kyle Busch
  11. Austin Dillon
  12. Daniel Suarez
  13. Kevin Harvick
  14. AJ Allmendinger
  15. Kyle Larson
  16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  17. Michael McDowell
  18. Chase Elliott
  19. Justin Haley
  20. Denny Hamlin
  21. Ryan Preece
  22. Austin Cindric
  23. Todd Gilliland
  24. Corey LaJoie
  25. Alex Bowman
  26. Chris Buescher
  27. Chase Briscoe
  28. Harrison Burton
  29. Noah Gragson (R)
  30. Erik Jones
  31. Ross Chastain
  32. B.J. McLeod
  33. Ryan Newman
  34. Cole Custer
  35. Ty Dillon
  36. Ty Gibbs (R)

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Angela Campbell
Angela Campbell
A native of Charlotte, NC, Angela (Angie) was first introduced to racing by her father. An avid fan of NASCAR, she found a way to combine her love of racing with her passion for writing. Angie is also an award-winning member of the National Motorsports Press Association. Follow her on Twitter @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.


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