XFINITY: Allgaier Breaks Four-Year Drought With Charlotte Pole

Jacob Seelman Featured, XFINITY 0 Comments

Justin Allgaier won his first NASCAR XFINITY Series pole since 2013 on Saturday. (Jeremy Thompson photo)

CONCORD, N.C. — Justin Allgaier broke a qualifying drought spanning four years on Saturday morning, finding speed when it mattered most to notch the pole for the Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Allgaier posted a lap of 29.591 seconds (182.488 mph) around the 1.5-mile quad-oval to put his No. 7 Breyers Chevrolet up front as he seeks his second win of the season.

He was the only driver to break into the 182 mph bracket in the final round.

After scoring his fifth-career Coors Light Pole Award, as well as his first pole on a track 1.5 miles in length or larger, Allgaier was quick to compliment the progress of his JR Motorsports team.

“These guys did a great job,” he said. “We had a terrible test here a few weeks ago, and they went back to the drawing board and did an awesome job to find what we needed.”

“I knew on Thursday we had a good car, but I didn’t know we had that good of a car. I’ve seen guys do that before … where the lap is that good in the final round and they’re able to pull it off. I’ve never done that on a 1.5-miler so this is really cool.

Allgaier also gave a fun nod to his race sponsor, Breyers, after the session.

“We’re going to eat some ice cream over there (after) getting the pole award!”

Austin Dillon put his No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet on the outside of the front row with a lap of 29.749 seconds (181.519 mph), leading the cast of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series interlopers hoping to win Saturday afternoon’s event.

Fellow Cup regular Ryan Blaney was the fastest Ford in third (29.772/181.378), followed by rookie Daniel Hemric and two-time series champion Kevin Harvick.

Cole Custer was sixth, just ahead of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Christopher Bell, who ended the final round as the best Toyota and will start seventh in his XFINITY Series debut.

Defending race winner Denny Hamlin, Ryan Reed, Tyler Reddick, Brennan Poole and Elliott Sadler completed the dozen drivers who advanced through all three knockout rounds.

William Byron was the first car to miss the final round of qualifying and will start 13th in his No. 9 Axalta Chevrolet, after posting a best lap of 29.993 seconds (180.042) but being knocked out by Elliott Sadler as the red and black flags flew to stop the 10-minute clock.

After Round 2, he explained that he believed the extra cycle he took on his tires took its toll as qualifying rolled on.

“It’s pretty edgy,” Byron said of his car’s handling. “Unfortunately, we had that first cycle on the tires. The caution came and then we had to re-run in the first round so it was kind of unfortunate. At least we have at least one less lap on our tires for the race. Hopefully, that’ll help us get through the field. It’s pretty edgy though; this is a fun place and it slickens up during the daytime.”

Other notables eliminated earlier in qualifying included Ty Dillon (15th), Brendan Gaughan (17th), Matt Tifft (19th), Michael Annett (23rd) and two-time Truck champion Todd Bodine (36th), who is filling in for Ray Black Jr. this weekend in the No. 07 Chevrolet for SS Green Light Racing.

Brad Keselowski’s No. 22 Discount Tire Ford did not make it through inspection in time for Keselowski to make a qualifying lap, and as such, the Team Penske veteran will roll off 39th.

The Hisense 4K TV 300 kicks off at 1 p.m. ET, live on FOX Sports 1, the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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