Preece roars to first career Cup pole at Martinsville

John Harrelson/Motorsport Images

Preece roars to first career Cup pole at Martinsville


Preece roars to first career Cup pole at Martinsville


Ryan Preece will lead the NASCAR Cup Series field to the green flag for the first time in his career Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.

He grabbed his pole first pole in 124 starts for the NOCO 400 with a lap of 94.780mph (19.979s). He was the last driver to take time in single-car qualifying.

Daniel Suarez will join Preece on the front row, qualifying second at 94.289mph. Aric Almirola, who qualified third, ran the same speed.

Chase Briscoe qualified fourth at 94.153mph, Martin Truex Jr. fifth at 94.120mph, Tyler Reddick sixth at 94.078mph and Kevin Harvick seventh at 93.975mph.

Defending race winner William Byron qualified eighth at 93.952 mph, Bubba Wallace ninth at 93.896mph and Chris Buescher completed the top 10 at 93.784mph.

Further in the field, five-time Martinsville winner Denny Hamlin qualified 11th with rookie teammate Ty Gibbs 12th.

Joey Logano will start 15th, Kyle Busch 17th, and Kyle Larson 19th. Cup Series championship point leader Christopher Bell qualified 22nd.

In his return after missing six races, Chase Elliott qualified 24th.

Ryan Blaney qualified 31st and Zane Smith, driving the No. 51 for Rick Ware, qualified 33rd. Ross Chastain qualified 34th.

Thirty-six drivers will take the green flag Sunday afternoon. NASCAR officials have moved up the start of the race by 10 minutes due to the threat of inclement weather, making the green flag time 3:01 p.m. ET.