Christopher Bell scores Cup Series pole at Las Vegas in Playoffs Round of 8 opener

Christopher Bell earned the NASCAR Cup Series pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon with a qualifying lap of 186.355 mph in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. It was his sixth pole this season and his 10th series career pole.

“I was running flatline and never lifted all the way around; he (Larson) didn’t either. So comes down horsepower, I guess,” Bell said.

“It’s going to be about who can keep the most in their car and move around and find (grip) on the race track,” he continued. “Las Vegas is a fun race track because you can pretty much run from the wall to the white line and everywhere in between. If you’re faster than a guy you can make your way to the front and if you struggle you can move around and it helps you out.”

His lap was 0.010 seconds quicker than Hendrick Motorsports driver, Kyle Larson, who will join Bell on the front row to lead the field to green for Sunday’s South Point 400.

“My car feels really good. Happy to get on the front row, obviously would like to get the pole but Bell and their team, they have a lot of speed in qualifying,” Larson said after qualifying. “Our Chevy felt good in practice so we’ll see what we’ve got for tomorrow.”

Playoff drivers dominated during qualifying, capturing the top five spots. William Byron was third quickest in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet with a 186.181 mph lap, followed by Martin Truex Jr. in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (185.759 mph) and Chris Buescher (185.669 mph) in the No. 17 RFK Racing Ford.

Kyle Busch, Bubba Wallace, Playoff contender Tyler Reddick, Joey Logano and Ross Chastain rounded out the top 10. Ryan Blaney (12th) and Denny Hamlin (15th) were the only Playoff drivers to qualify outside the top 10.

Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is set for 2:30 p.m. ET on USA with radio coverage provided by MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The race will also be available on the NBC Sports App.

Cup Series Round of 8 Playoff Drivers:

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, 4,041 points
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, 4,036 points
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, 4,032 points
Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, 4,024 points
Chris Buescher, RFK Racing, 4,021 points
Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, 4,016 points
Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, 4,016 points
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, 4,014 points

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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