Monday, August 15, 2022

NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan starting lineup: Bubba Wallace wins first pole of his Cup career

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Bubba Wallace has won the pole for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan, putting down a lap of 37.755 (190.703 MPH) in qualifying on Saturday to earn his first career Cup Series pole in his 171st try. Wallace was the fastest car in Group B practice and qualifying, and then beat Christopher Bell for the top spot as the final car out in the run for the pole.

Wallace becomes the sixth different driver to earn his first career pole this season, joining Bell, Austin Cindric, Cole Custer, Chris Buescher, and Chase Briscoe. It is also the first-ever pole for 23XI Racing as an organization, and the first pole by an African-American driver since the lone pole of Wendell Scott’s career at Savannah Speedway in 1962.

“It’s a testament to everybody at 23XI. Everybody on this No. 23 team, they’ve been doing a tremendous job all year long, really,” Wallace told NBC Sports. “Just haven’t had the finishes that we’ve deserved, but proud of everybody for just sticking through it. A lot of adversity on this team, but we keeping showing up ready to battle.”

Wallace led the way for Toyota, which flexed its horsepower muscles by putting five of its cars in the top 10 in qualifying. The only Toyota not to make the top 10 was Ty Gibbs, who qualified 11th in his third-straight race subbing for the injured Kurt Busch.

NASCAR Xfinity Series star Austin Hill, who is making his Cup debut this weekend for Richard Childress Racing, qualified 31st.

FireKeepers Casino 400 starting lineup

  1. #23 – Bubba Wallace
  2. #20 – Christopher Bell
  3. #18 – Kyle Busch
  4. #22 – Joey Logano
  5. #2 – Austin Cindric (R)
  6. #8 – Tyler Reddick
  7. #19 – Martin Truex Jr.
  8. #5 – Kyle Larson
  9. #11 – Denny Hamlin
  10. #43 – Erik Jones
  11. #45 – Ty Gibbs
  12. #16 – Noah Gragson
  13. #9 – Chase Elliott
  14. #34 – Michael McDowell
  15. #99 – Daniel Suarez
  16. #4 – Kevin Harvick
  17. #41 – Cole Custer
  18. #10 – Aric Almirola
  19. #17 – Chris Buescher
  20. #24 – William Byron
  21. #31 – Justin Haley
  22. #1 – Ross Chastain
  23. #14 – Chase Briscoe
  24. #12 – Ryan Blaney
  25. #42 – Ty Dillon
  26. #3 – Austin Dillon
  27. #21 – Harrison Burton (R)
  28. #47 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  29. #15 – J.J. Yeley
  30. #48 – Alex Bowman
  31. #33 – Austin Hill
  32. #7 – Corey LaJoie
  33. #6 – Brad Keselowski
  34. #51 – Cody Ware
  35. #77 – Josh Bilicki
  36. #78 – B.J. McLeod
  37. #38 – Todd Gilliland (R)

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