NASCAR at Kansas Speedway starting lineup: Christopher Bell earns pole at Kansas, aiming to end rough streak

Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The pole position for the AdventHealth 400, the 13th race of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, was taken by Christopher Bell, who is driving the №20 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. Setting a scorching lap of 183.107 mph (29.491 seconds), Bell scored his first pole of the season at Kansas Speedway and his 11th career Cup pole in the Next Gen era since 2022.

Although Bell had had his recent bad results, his performance had finally given him some optimism going into Sunday’s race.

Overcoming a rough stretch

Bell’s current pole is the result of a long line of tough races, including wrecks and bad luck. Regardless of his early successes this season, including a third place in the Daytona 500 and a win at Phoenix, the 29-year-old driver has been through some rough patches with tire issues, crashes, and poor finishes that pursued him over the last few weeks.

Following a 35th place result at Martinsville, a 17th place finish at Texas, a crash-related 38th place at Talladega, and a 34th place result at Dover, Bell is just hoping to have a trouble-free race. “Before we say we’re gonna go out there and win, I just need to finish tomorrow. We gotta see the checkered flag.”

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A new beginning

NASCAR: Pala Casino 400
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

For Bell, this pole position is a possible turning point. Having Ross Chastain (182.704 mph) of Chevrolet by his side, Bell is optimistic about getting it right this weekend.

Noah Gragson, who set the third-fastest lap at 182.451 mph, is also gaining momentum after posting a career-best third-place qualifying effort followed by solid runs at Talladega and Dover. Kyle Larson will start fourth (182.383 mph), while Kyle Busch completes the top five (182.070 mph).

Related: Denny Hamlin Kept His Promise with a Win at Dover Motor Speedway

NASCAR incidents during qualifying

There were a few incidents during the qualifying sessions at Kansas Speedway. Chris Buescher, Ryan Blaney, and Cody Ware had problems, with Buescher needing to switch to a backup car after a tire blowout. On the other hand, William Byron, who set the fastest time during practice, hit the wall in qualifying, will start 36th, his worst starting position of the year.

On his qualifying run, Briscoe tightened up and lightly slapped the outside wall, which put him at the bottom of the final round of qualifying. He will start in the 10th position.

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Legacy Motor Club’s Erik Jones sits out race

Legacy Motor Club’s Erik Jones, who was involved in a crash at Talladega, is recovering from a compression fracture in a lower vertebra and will miss Sunday’s race. Corey Heim, who is taking over for Jones, will remain in that role, with Jones planning on coming back during Darlington, a track where he has excelled in the past.

The AdventHealth 400 race will begin this Sunday at 3:00 PM ET. Christopher Bell’s focus is simple: see the checkered flag and leave the string of misfortune behind.

Kansas Speedway Starting Lineup

  1. #20 — Christopher Bell
  2. #1 — Ross Chastain
  3. #10 — Noah Gragson
  4. #5 — Kyle Larson
  5. #8 — Kyle Busch
  6. #54 — Ty Gibbs
  7. #2 — Austin Cindric
  8. #34 — Michael McDowell
  9. #9 — Chase Elliott
  10. #14 — Chase Briscoe
  11. #22 — Joey Logano
  12. #17 — Chris Buescher
  13. #19 — Martin Truex Jr.
  14. #11 — Denny Hamlin
  15. #45 — Tyler Reddick
  16. #3 — Austin Dillon
  17. #4 — Josh Berry
  18. #8 — Alex Bowman
  19. #84 — Jimmie Johnson
  20. #43 — Corey Heim
  21. #47 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  22. #77 — Carson Hocevar
  23. #23 — Bubba Wallace
  24. #71 — Zane Smith
  25. #38 — Todd Gilliland
  26. #12 — Ryan Blaney
  27. #99 — Daniel Suarez
  28. #7 — Corey LaJoie
  29. #42 — John Hunter Nemechek
  30. #6 — Brad Keselowski
  31. #21 — Harrison Burton
  32. #41 — Ryan Preece
  33. #31 — Daniel Hemric
  34. #33 — Austin Hill
  35. #51 — Justin Haley
  36. #24 — William Byron
  37. #15 — Riley Herbst
  38. #16 — Derek Kraus

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