Chase Briscoe wins the pole for NASCAR’s regular-season finale at Daytona

Chase Briscoe captured the NASCAR Cup Series pole for Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway after posting a qualifying lap of 181.822 mph in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. It marks Briscoe’s second Cup Series career pole.

After qualifying, Briscoe admitted that he was not confident as he left pit road to qualify. “I was worried,” he said. “When I left pit road I did an absolutely terrible job. I spun the tires and I shifted way too early to second and then I had a double lift on the gas at third and fourth and I was like, ‘Man, I completely threw this away,’ so I knew it was gonna be extremely close getting back to the line and just barely was able to be there.

“It’s cool for Stewart-Haas Racing. It’s no secret that it’s been a struggle for us this year and to bring two really fast Fords to Daytona and lock out the front row is a testament to everything the men and women back there are doing and this Roush Yates power under the hood.”

His teammate, Aric Almirola, will join Briscoe on the front row, after laying down a 181.693 mph lap in the final round. Wood Brothers Racing’s Harrison Burton claimed the third spot in the No. 21 Ford, his career-best starting position. Toyota drivers Bubba Wallace (23XI Racing) and Ty Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing) rounded out the top five.

Riley Herbst qualified sixth for Front Row Motorsports in only his third Cup Series start as Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson, the only Chevrolet driver in the top 10, was seventh. Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney was eighth quickest, as Stewart-Haas Racing teammates, Ryan Preece and Kevin Harvick, earned the final two spots in the top 10.

There is more on the line than usual this weekend with only one spot remaining in the 16-driver Cup Series Playoffs which is set to begin next week at Darlington Raceway.

All eyes will be on Chase Elliott as he attempts to keep the streak alive after having made the Playoffs for seven consecutive years. He is currently 19th in the driver playoff standings and nothing short of a win will advance him.

After qualifying 23rd, Elliott will have his work cut out for him but he remains determined.

“I still don’t think it matters a whole lot,” Elliott said of qualifying at Daytona. “I do think track position matters at some point during the day, and we saw that in the [Daytona] 500 here. I crashed there early on, but the part of the race I was in, I felt like everybody was stuck. We couldn’t go anywhere. I was looking around, and there were times during the race I was like, he’s trying to go forward and can’t.

“I think the more the cars are the same as time has gone on, it’s hard to be different, then it puts all the emphasis on the little stuff. How fast are your pit stops? How much gas you got in it? How good’s your restart? All the itty-bitty little things become much larger pieces of the puzzle when the cars are just more and more the same, especially when you’re running around here wide open.”

“There’s still a little bit of a difference,” he added. “Whether it’s the driver, the car or a combination of both, I still think a guy can make himself stand out.”

Tune into the Coke Sugar Zero 400 Saturday evening at 7 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock for all the racing action as the Cup Series playoff field is set.

Starting Lineup

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

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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