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Qualifying report
NASCAR Cup Michigan

Bell beats Chastain to Michigan NASCAR Cup pole

Following up a strong showing in practice for the Toyotas, Christopher Bell won the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

Bell’s average lap speed of 193.382 mph in the final round of Saturday’s qualifying was enough to edge Ross Chastain (193.242 mph) and claim the top starting spot for Sunday’s race.

The pole is his second of the 2023 season, with both coming in his last four races. It’s also the sixth pole of his career.

“This is obviously a very important manufacturer race track but more importantly this pole is a big momentum boost for this No. 20 group,” said Bell, who has finished 18th or worse in four of his last five races.

“You know we’ve been on the struggle bus a little bit and a lot of it has been my doing. It’s been a great Saturday. Hopefully, we can keep it up and put a great race together tomorrow.”

Bell’s Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Ty Gibbs ended up third, last week’s race winner Chris Buescher was fourth and JGR driver Martin Truex Jr. will start fifth.

Completing the top-10 starting lineup are Joey Logano, William Byron, Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott.

Cla Driver # Manufacturer Laps Time Interval Mph
1 United StatesCHRISTOPHER BELLJoe Gibbs Racing 20 Toyota 1 37.232   193.382
2 United StatesROSS CHASTAINTrackHouse Racing 1 Chevrolet 1 +0.027 0.027 193.242
3
TY GIBBSJoe Gibbs Racing
54 Toyota 1 +0.069 0.042 193.024
4 United StatesCHRIS BUESCHERRFK Racing 17 Ford 1 +0.089 0.020 192.921
5 United StatesMARTIN TRUEX JRJoe Gibbs Racing 19 Toyota 1 +0.140 0.051 192.658
6 United StatesJOEY LOGANOTeam Penske 22 Ford 1 +0.148 0.008 192.616
7 United StatesWILLIAM BYRONHendrick Motorsports 24 Chevrolet 1 +0.247 0.099 192.108
8 United StatesKYLE BUSCHRichard Childress Racing 8 Chevrolet 1 +0.288 0.041 191.898
9 United StatesRYAN BLANEYTeam Penske 12 Ford 1 +0.312 0.024 191.775
10 United StatesCHASE ELLIOTTHendrick Motorsports 9 Chevrolet 1 +0.316 0.004 191.755

Round 1 / Group A

Logano used a blistering average lap speed of 192.400 mph to lead the first group in qualifying.

Byron was second fastest (192.251 mph) and his Hendrick team-mate Elliott was third (191.893 mph).

Also advancing to the final round of qualifying were Busch and Blaney.

Among those who failed to advance were Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman, Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola.

Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 United StatesJOEY LOGANOTeam Penske 22 1 37.422   192.400
2 United StatesWILLIAM BYRONHendrick Motorsports 24 1 +0.029 0.029 192.251
3 United StatesCHASE ELLIOTTHendrick Motorsports 9 1 +0.099 0.070 191.893
4 United StatesKYLE BUSCHRichard Childress Racing 8 1 +0.139 0.040 191.688
5 United StatesRYAN BLANEYTeam Penske 12 1 +0.198 0.059 191.388
6 United StatesKYLE LARSONHendrick Motorsports 5 1 +0.211 0.013 191.321
7 United StatesARIC ALMIROLAStewart-Haas Racing 10 1 +0.221 0.010 191.271
8 United StatesALEX BOWMANHendrick Motorsports 48 1 +0.230 0.009 191.225
9 United StatesAUSTIN CINDRICTeam Penske 2 1 +0.231 0.001 191.220
10 United StatesKEVIN HARVICKStewart-Haas Racing 4 1 +0.275 0.044 190.997
11 United StatesMICHAEL MCDOWELLFront Row Motorsports 34 1 +0.285 0.010 190.946
12 United StatesAJ ALLMENDINGERKaulig Racing 16 1 +0.298 0.013 190.880
13 United StatesRICKY STENHOUSE JRJTG Daugherty Racing 47 1 +0.310 0.012 190.819
14 United StatesHARRISON BURTONWood Brothers Racing 21 1 +0.469 0.159 190.019
15 United StatesTODD GILLILANDFront Row Motorsports 38 1 +0.783 0.314 188.457
16 United StatesTY DILLONSpire Motorsports 77 1 +1.151 0.368 186.659
17 JOSH BERRYLegacy Motor Club 42 1 +1.242 0.091 186.220
18 United StatesJOSH BILICKILive Fast Motorsports 78 1 +2.245 1.003 181.511

Round 1 / Group B

Gibbs led the second group with an average lap speed of 193.418 mph – the fastest lap of the day at the time.

“I think we have a little more speed to get out of (Turns) 3 and 4,” Gibbs said. “I think we have a chance to get our first pole.”

Chastain was second fastest (193.200 mph) and Bell was third (192.895 mph).

Also advancing to the final round of qualifying from Group B were Truex and Buescher, who won last week’s race at Richmond Raceway.

Among those who failed to advance were Denny Hamlin, Tyler Reddick, Daniel Suarez and Bubba Wallace.

Cla Driver # Manufacturer Time Interval Mph
1
TY GIBBSJoe Gibbs Racing
54 Toyota 37.225   193.418
2 United StatesROSS CHASTAINTrackHouse Racing 1 Chevrolet +0.042 0.042 193.200
3 United StatesCHRISTOPHER BELLJoe Gibbs Racing 20 Toyota +0.101 0.059 192.895
4 United StatesMARTIN TRUEX JRJoe Gibbs Racing 19 Toyota +0.104 0.003 192.880
5 United StatesCHRIS BUESCHERRFK Racing 17 Ford +0.104 0.000 192.880
6 United StatesBUBBA WALLACE23XI Racing 23 Toyota +0.173 0.069 192.524
7 United StatesBRAD KESELOWSKIRFK Racing 6 Ford +0.228 0.055 192.241
8 United StatesDENNY HAMLINJoe Gibbs Racing 11 Toyota +0.244 0.016 192.159
9 MexicoDANIEL SUAREZTrackHouse Racing 99 Chevrolet +0.254 0.010 192.108
10 United StatesAUSTIN DILLONRichard Childress Racing 3 Chevrolet +0.342 0.088 191.658
11 United StatesTYLER REDDICK23XI Racing 45 Toyota +0.342 0.000 191.658
12 United StatesCHASE BRISCOEStewart-Haas Racing 14 Ford +0.426 0.084 191.230
13 United StatesERIK JONESLegacy Motor Club 43 Chevrolet +0.496 0.070 190.875
14 United StatesJUSTIN HALEYKaulig Racing 31 Chevrolet +0.501 0.005 190.850
15 United StatesRYAN PREECEStewart-Haas Racing 41 Ford +0.556 0.055 190.572
16 United StatesAUSTIN HILLBeard Motorsports 62 Chevrolet +0.681 0.125 189.944
17 United StatesCOREY LAJOIESpire Motorsports 7 Chevrolet +0.717 0.036 189.763
18 United StatesCOLE CUSTERRick Ware Racing 51 Ford +1.261 0.544 187.081
19 United StatesJJ YELEYRick Ware Racing 15 Ford +1.514 0.253 185.859

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