CONCORD, N.C. — Former dirt track standouts swept the front row for Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200, led by Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Christopher Bell, who notched his third pole of the season.
After placing runner-up in the opening round, Bell picked up two tenths of a second on his final run, posting a lap of 29.852 seconds (180.892 mph) in his No. 4 SiriusXM Toyota Tundra.
Bell will be looking to dethrone his team owner Kyle Busch, who has won six times in his 10 Charlotte Truck appearances.
“I knew on my out-lap I was pretty good because in the first round, my out-lap was pretty free and I couldn’t hold it wide-open through (Turns) 3 and 4. This pole’s really special for me because I feel like in the Truck Series, it’s pretty easy to hold it wide-open and kind of go out there and run around. This one I had to earn it, a little bit anyways.”
“I feel like we’ve got speed in our Tundra … and that’s really important for nighttime races, especially here at Charlotte. I feel like we’re going to have a really good shot at it. We’ve had a really good shot at it every time we’ve hit the race track. That’s really all you can ask for as a driver; we’re ready to go out here and race.”
Chase Briscoe, who led the opening round in his No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150 for Brad Keselowski Racing, faded ever so slightly on his last run and wound up second-fastest (29.881/180.717).
Defending series champion Johnny Sauter was third (29.929/180.427) for GMS Racing, followed by the Toyotas of Kyle Busch, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton and Brett Moffitt.
New high school graduate Austin Cindric, NBC Sports analyst Parker Kligerman, Timothy Peters, Ryan Truex and Kaz Grala completed the list of 12 trucks that advanced to the final round of qualifying.
John Hunter Nemechek was the first driver to miss the cut from round one, clocking in at 30.514 seconds (176.968 mph) in the No. 8 Fire Alarm Services Chevrolet. He will roll off from 13th on the grid.
Other notables who failed to advance and will be mired deep in the pack include rookie Noah Gragson, who led final practice Thursday night but qualified 15th; Grant Enfinger (16th); Austin Wayne Self (19th); and Regan Smith (20th), who is subbing for Aric Almirola in Saturday’s Monster Energy Open.
With 34 trucks attempting to make the field, Brandon Brown and Cody Ware failed to qualify on speed.
The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 takes the green flag at 8:30 p.m. ET, live on FOX Sports 1.
Full qualifying results can be viewed on the next page…