Christopher Bell had more left in his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota, and he used it in qualifying to earn the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Bell was second quickest in Saturday morning’s practice session and then laid down an even faster lap in qualifying at 182.67 mph (29.561 seconds). It was enough to hold off the quickest driver from practice, Kyle Larson, and earn his first career pole in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“That’s pretty cool; I haven’t gotten to qualify very much in my Cup career,” said Bell. “I’ll tell you what, that’s a hell of a lot more fun than qualifying the 550 package.”
Larson’s fastest lap was 182.01 mph. Austin Cindric qualified third at 181.79 mph, and Chase Briscoe qualified fourth at 181.73 mph. Chase Elliott completed the top five qualifiers at 181.72 mph.
Joey Logano qualified sixth at 181.34 mph, Tyler Reddick was seventh at 181.20 mph, Denny Hamlin was eighth at 181.19 mph, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was ninth at 179.76 mph, and Austin Dillon was 10th at 179.72 mph.
The top 10 drivers came from the first round of qualifying. The field was split into two groups, with the fastest five from each advancing for the pole run. Bell was the fastest from the first group of drivers who advanced.
“I feel really good about our DeWalt Camry, that’s for sure,’ said Bell. “In practice, it took probably two runs to get the balance where I was comfortable, but from our first run out, I felt like we were pretty competitive. So really happy with where we’re at. I love Las Vegas. I wish it was going to be a little bit warmer so we could slide around a little bit more, but Vegas always puts on a good race.”
Kyle Busch was the only driver who did not attempt a qualifying lap. Busch will come from the rear of the field after he crashed in practice, and Joe Gibbs Racing is preparing a backup car.
UP NEXT: The Pennzoil 400 at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday (FOX).