Bubba Wallace collects his first pole of the season at Texas

Bubba Wallace earned his first pole of the season Saturday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway with a qualifying lap of 188.337 mph. It was his first pole of the season and the second career pole for the driver of the 23XI Racing No. 23 Toyota.  

Wallace called it a “good start” but is focused on the bigger prize as the team heads into the first race in the Playoffs Round of 16.

“We have the best track position right now, but we know with strategy, everything is going to change and evolve,” Wallace said. “We are going to get behind at some point, so it is just a matter of making the most of every situation that we are in. Right now, we start on the pole, if we lead all the laps – some people may pit and cut it. You are going to get behind at some point, so we’ve got to figure out how to get back up there, but you can’t get complacent on the small victories. It takes a lot of them to get to a big victory, but it’s a good start.”

Chris Buescher laid down the second fastest lap in the No. 17 RFK Racing Ford with a 188.081 mph lap while his teammate and team-owner, Brad Keselowski, qualified third with a lap of 187.891 mph.

Though Buescher was disappointed to miss out on the pole, when asked how important it is to start on the front row, he said, ‘It is huge. This is a very track-position-sensitive race track and with the heat this weekend I think it will be even more. With that in mind, I guess this probably puts us in the non-preferred lane for the start but we will be watching this Xfinity race very closely and try to pull what we can out of it and see what we can learn for tomorrow.”

Joe Gibbs Racing driver, Ty Gibbs, qualified fourth (187.761 mph lap) in his No. 54 Toyota as Ross Chastain rounded out the top five in the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet.   

AJ Allmendinger, Kyle Busch, Daniel Suárez, Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin completed the top-10 qualifiers.

Playoff drivers who will start outside the top 10 include Kyle Larson (11th), Tyler Reddick (15th), Martin Truex Jr. (16th), William Byron (18th) and Ryan Blaney (23rd).

You can tune into Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at 3:30 p.m. ET on the USA Network with radio coverage provided by PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Starting Lineup:

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

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

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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