KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Christopher Bell’s dominance on the 1.5-mile tracks continued Friday by capturing the Keystone Light Pole Award for the Toyota Tundra 250.
Bell was second after the first round of single-truck qualifying and improved on his time in round two to score his second career pole with the first coming at Atlanta in March.
“This one goes out to all the guys at Kyle Busch Motorsports that work so hard on this thing,” Bell said. “I believe this truck was brand-new at Homestead. William ended up getting on the pole and winning the race and then we took it to Atlanta, won the pole, won the race and so here we are again at Kansas and won the pole. I just can’t say enough about this SiriusXM Toyota Tundra. It’s so fast.”
“Thankfully, we’ll be able to be up there in pit stall No. 1. I feel like the biggest thing is going to be able to control the restarts, start on the outside and Kansas is so wide on the front-straightaway that the restarts get really hectic. I know it’ll be the first start of the race but we’ll be able to control it, start on the outside and not get stuck in the sucker hole on the bottom.”
The KBM driver won the last Truck race on a 1.5-mile track at Atlanta and another Toyota driver joins Bell on the front row in two-time Kansas winner Matt Crafton.
Crafton turned the quickest lap in round one at 30.514 seconds but improved in the final round, just not enough gain to knock the No. 4 truck off the top spot.
“This race always plays into chaos,” Crafton said. “Just restarts are everything and everybody always seems to try to get their trucks drive really good by themselves and when you get into big packs, there’s just so much aero in this things and they’re usually really ugly to drive in traffic. Hopefully everyone’s got them tight enough for tonight and everybody has a good show. The track keeps getting wider as in the groove keeps widening out. The Cup cars run up against the fence and I’m sure the trucks will start moving around as well.”
Defending series champ Johnny Sauter was third (176.765 mph) after narrowly winning this race last year until tangling with Ben Rhodes in the final corners letting William Byron slide by for the victory. Rookie Noah Gragson qualified a career-best fourth (176.667 mph) in the No. 18 Switch Toyota with Ryan Truex (176.401 mph) completing the top-five in his Hattori Racing machine.
Cup interloper Kyle Busch slotted in 10th as the only MENCS driver entered in Friday night’s Toyota Tundra 250. Talladega ARCA winner Justin Haley made the final round of qualifying and was 12th (175.239 mph) with the round-two lap.
The green flag for Friday night’s Toyota Tundra 250 drops shortly after 8:30 p.m. ET (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM).
Full qualifying results can be found on the next page…