LAS VEGAS — A pair of old dirt track foes will line up on the front row for Saturday’s Boyd Gaming 300, with Christopher Bell edging out Kyle Larson for the NASCAR Xfinity Series pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Bell saved his best for when it mattered most, picking up a full second from round one to round three with his No. 20 Rheem Toyota and touring the 1.5-mile oval in 29.398 seconds on his pole-winning run.
Saturday marked the Norman, Oklahoma native’s third-career pole and second in a row, following on from last weekend’s top qualifying effort at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“Man, we made some great changes to our car,” said Bell. “(Crew chief) Jason Ratcliff is the best in the business and I’m lucky to drive for him and this whole team at Joe Gibbs Racing. That was a lot of fun. Our Rheem Camry got better and better each run, it got my confidence up and we just went out and made it happen.”
Larson, who led both Friday practice sessions and swept the first two knockout rounds, landed .044 of a second shy of continuing his perfect record in the series, qualifying second (29.442/183.411) in the No. 42 DC Solar Chevrolet.
Daniel Hemric took down the third spot on the grid for Richard Childress Racing, ahead of Cole Custer’s Ford and Kyle Busch’s Toyota.
Busch, who won Friday night’s Truck Series race, is looking to keep his goal of a third-career NASCAR tripleheader sweep alive by taking down his second Xfinity Series win at his home track in the last three years.
Elliott Sadler, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Matt Tifft, Austin Dillon, Spencer Gallagher and Justin Allgaier filled out the first six rows on the grid and made up the remainder of the dozen drivers who advanced through all three knockout rounds.
After provisionally bumping his way in during the final moments of round two, Ryan Reed ended up as the first driver below the cut line to advance, qualifying 13th with his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford after a lap of 29.986 seconds (180.084 mph).
Other notables who start deeper in the field include Austin Cindric (15th), Ryan Truex (17th), Michael Annett (19th), Joey Gase (23rd) and Garrett Smithley (26th).
The Boyd Gaming 300 takes the green flag at 4 p.m. ET, live on FOX Sports 1, the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
Full qualifying results can be viewed by clicking here…