NCWTS: Byron Claims First Truck Pole Ahead Of Chase Opener In Loudon

Jacob Seelman NASCAR, Trucks 0 Comments

William Byron celebrates his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole with the 21 Means 21 Pole Award on Saturday in Loudon, N.H. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

William Byron celebrates his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole with the 21 Means 21 Pole Award on Saturday in Loudon, N.H.
(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

LOUDON, N.H. — After starting first three times this season when NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying was rained out, points leader William Byron finally banked his maiden Coors Light Pole Award on Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Byron stormed to the top grid spot in the third and final knockout round with a blistering lap of 28.667 seconds (132.864 mph), less than a tenth of a second off Austin Dillon’s track record set last year.

The result gives the championship favorite and his No. 9 Liberty University Toyota team confidence heading into the UNOH 175, the opening race of seven in the NCWTS Chase for the Championship, as the last four Loudon Truck races have been won from the pole.

“It feels really good to finally get our first real pole this year,” Byron smiled. “We’ve started on pole by default a couple of times, but it’s a huge deal to qualify up front with the guys that put so much work in on these trucks.”

“It also means a lot, and is huge for our momentum, to start this Chase off strong. We’re looking forward to this afternoon and hopefully we can stay up there and get a good finish.”

Timothy Peters, who was the final driver to make the Chase Grid on points and is seeded eighth entering this wekeend’s race at Loudon, will join Byron on the front row after qualifying second.

Peters posted a lap of 28.773 seconds (132.374 mph) in his No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, securing his best starting spot of the season.

“This boosts our confidence, number one for the Chase, but also because track position is so important here,” Peters explained. “Great job on execution by (crew chief) Shane (Huffman) and all the guys on this team, and from where we unloaded yesterday to where we ended the day and mocked up, that boost definitely spilled over into today.”

“This is a great way to kick off the seven races down to Homestead and hopefully we can go one (position) better in the race.”

Byron’s Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Christopher Bell was third-quick, ahead of round two leader Tyler Reddick and rookie Ben Rhodes.

Brett Moffitt, two-time champion Matt Crafton, Cameron Hayley, Kaz Grala, Johnny Sauter, Austin Hill and Ben Kennedy rounded out the list of 12 drivers who advanced through all three knockout rounds.

Chase contender Daniel Hemric was the first driver who failed to advance out of round two, posting a best time of 29.133 seconds (130.738 mph) in his No. 19 Ford F-150 and missing the transfer by .02 of a second.

Now, Hemric says he and crew chief Chad Kendrick will have to “get creative” to make up ground on the rest of the starting field.

“Qualifying back in the field will probably play into our race strategy, for sure,” Hemric admitted. “We were just really free in our last two runs. The right rear tire felt really on top of the race track and it just didn’t work well for us. All in all, though, we’ve got what we’ve got now. It goes by quick here, so we’ll see what we can come up with in the race.

Other notables who will start deep in the field include Cole Custer (14th), Chaser John Hunter Nemechek (15th) and dirt racing aces Stewart Friesen (19th) and Rico Abreu (21st).

Sauter led the first round with a lap of 28.863 seconds (131.961 mph) and Reddick topped the second round at 28.838 seconds (132.076 mph).

The UNOH 175 takes the green flag at 1 p.m. ET, with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

Qualifying Results

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