William Byron was the class of the field the last time the NASCAR Cup Series visited Homestead-Miami Speedway in February 2021. The Hendrick Motorsports driver was again at the top of the leaderboard after qualifying Saturday afternoon.
Byron won the pole for the Dixie Vodka 400 with a lap of 166.389 mph (32.454s). He was the second-to-last driver to take time in the final round of single-car qualifying.
It is the eighth pole of Byron’s Cup Series and the first this season. Sunday afternoon will be the first time Byron has led the field to green at Homestead.
“It’s super cool,” Byron said. “These guys have done a good job in qualifying trim the last few weeks and building on it. It was definitely a struggle in the summertime for us to qualify well, so we wanted to work on that, and the Liberty University Chevy was good enough in the final round. I felt like I was pretty loose but was able to get some good exits. Happy with that.
“We’ve gotten poles in the past and wanted to keep that streak going; that was kind of the running joke with us. It’s good to get one this year and get the monkey off our back in that sense. Hopefully, it translates.”
Christopher Bell joined Byron on the front row with a lap of 166.139 mph. Chase Elliott qualified third at 166.133 mph, and John Hunter Nemechek backed up his fast practice by qualifying fourth at 165.980 mph. Nemechek is driving the No. 45 this weekend for 23XI Racing after Bubba Wallace was suspended.
Kyle Larson completed the top five qualifiers. Larson ran 165.894 mph.
Ty Gibbs qualified sixth at 165.868 mph, Tyler Reddick qualified seventh at 165.573 mph, and Chris Buescher qualified eighth at 165.507 mph. Brad Keselowski was ninth at 165.33 mph, and AJ Allmendinger qualified 10th at 164.88 mph.
Five playoff drivers qualified outside the top 10. Ryan Blaney will start 13th; Denny Hamlin will start 14th; Joey Logano will start 15th; Chase Briscoe will start 19th; Ross Chastain will start 20th.
UP NEXT: The Dixie Vodka 400 at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday.