TC Daily Pit Stop: Ross Chastain, AJ Allmendinger Secure Poles for Saturday Doubleheader; Reddick Quickest in Friday Practice
TC Daily Pit Stop: Saturday, March 25th, 2023
AJ Allmendinger Captures Pole for Xfinity Series Race at COTA
PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Mulholland, Getty Images, Courtesy of NASCAR Media
Just when NASCAR Xfinity Series teams thought they wouldn’t have to deal with the road course dominance of AJ Allmendinger anymore, he’s back, and as good as he’s always been.
Driving the No. 10 Chevrolet Camaro for Kaulig Racing, Allmendinger is set to start on the pole for Saturday’s Pit Boss Grills 250 at Circuit of The Americas, after posting the quickest time in the final round of qualifying Friday.
Allmendinger’s 133.184-second lap placed him a half-second ahead of Phoenix winner and NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie Sammy Smith at the front of the field, marking the ninth career pole for the Los Gatos, California-native in the second-tier series.
Ty Gibbs, making his first Xfinity Series start of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing, will start Saturday’s event from third place, while Sheldon Creed and Parker Kligerman will round out the race’s top-five starters.
John Hunter Nemechek, Riley Herbst, Justin Allgaier, William Byron, and Cole Custer completed the top-10, after advancing into the final round of Friday’s group qualifying session.
Ross Chastain Puts Niece Motorsports No. 41 on Pole for Truck Race at COTA
PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Graythen, Getty Images, Courtesy of NASCAR Media
Ross Chastain has a knack for Circuit of The Americas, apparently. After winning last season’s NASCAR Cup Series event, the Trackhouse Racing driver secured the pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event.
Chastain, driving the No. 41 Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports, posted a time of 133.612 seconds (91.877mph) to score the first-place starting spot, ahead of two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, who will start from second.
Busch, making his second of five scheduled NASCAR Truck Series starts, posting a time a half-second slower than Chastain, after blowing the field out of the water in the series’ 20-minute practice session.
Ty Majeski will start Saturday’s event from third, while Nick Sanchez and Christian Eckes – the top-two finishers from last weekend’s event at Atlanta – will start from fourth and fifth.
Carson Hocevar will start the event from the sixth spot, with Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger, and TRICON Garage teammates Tanner Gray and Kaz Grala completing the top-10 starters.
Tyler Reddick Paces Friday Cup Series Practice from Circuit of The Americas
PHOTO CREDIT: Matthew T. Thacker, LAT Images, Courtesy of Toyota Racing
When driving for Richard Childress Racing last season, Tyler Reddick showed immense strength on road courses, winning events at Road America and Indy’s Road Course.
Judging by the speeds in Friday’s NASCAR Cup Series practice from Circuit of The Americas – the only one ahead of Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix – it appears that strength came from the driver.
Reddick, driving the No. 45 Toyota Camry TRD for 23XI Racing, paced Friday’s extended practice session with a time of 132.016 seconds (92.988mph), leading the session by a whopping half-second over second-place Kyle Larson.
Ross Chastain, the series’ defending winner at Circuit of The Americas, finished the 50-minute session in third, while Kyle Busch and Daniel Suarez completed the top five in the practice session.
At Phoenix, NASCAR announced that this weekend’s event would become an ‘extended practice weekend’, with the NASCAR Cup Series given a 50-minute practice session, in order to get acclimated to the new aero package for short tracks and road courses.
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