TALLADEGA, Ala — It was a Kyle Busch Motorsports fight for the pole on Friday afternoon from the Talladega Superspeedway. Chandler Smith went 177.732 mph as the 2nd to last qualifier in the 2nd and final round of the session. That bumped Carson Hocevar (177.068 mph) from the top starting spot.
The only driver left to qualify was Smith’s KBM teammate of John Hunter Nemechek. Like he did in Round 1, Nemechek sat on top of the scoring pylon when it was all said and done. The second-generation driver sped around the 2.66-mile-high banked Alabama racetrack with an average speed of 178.767 mph which was a full mph better than the rest.
It was Nemechek’s 9th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole tying him with Stacy Compton, Noah Gragson and Johnny Sauter for 12th all-time. This was also his 3rd pole in the last 5 races on the year.
Nemechek qualified on the front row (2nd) in the other superspeedway race of 2022 at Daytona back in February too as this is his first career top 5 starting spot in 7 Truck Series starts here in general.
For Smith, this is his 3rd top 10 qualifying effort in as many Truck Series tries including 2nd top 5 at that. He’s also now started on the outside of Row 1 in 5 of the last 6 races.
Hocevar slid down to 3rd in his No. 42 Chevrolet for his 4th 3rd place qualifying effort in the last 8 races run on the season. He started 6th here as a rookie a season ago.
Zane Smith (177.061 mph) starts 4th in his No. 38 Ford. That’s just his 3rd top 5 qualifying spot in the last 10 races. He had 6 in the first 11. However, he also qualified 20th in Daytona and won too.
Matt Crafton (176.960 mph) rounded out the top five in his No. 88 Toyota. Crafton has 5 straight top 10 starting spots here. The winner of the last race of the season at Bristol, Ty Majeski, starts 6th in his No. 66 Toyota. That’s the exact same spot to which he won from there with this being his 4th time that he’s started 6th in the last 6 races.
Toyota takes 4 of the top 6 starting spots after they swept the entire top 6 of the lineup at Daytona.
4 playoff drivers also failed to make the 2nd round but good news for them however, 4 of the last 5 Talladega race winners have also come from 14th or worse on the starting grid including 3 straight from Row 8 on back. Christian Eckes starts 13th, Ben Rhodes in 15th, Grant Enfinger 16th and Stewart Friesen will roll off 18th. This feat also shapes up a trendy pick for Enfinger who rolls off from Row 8, drives a Chevy which has won 3 of the last 4 here, and also the home state native who’s a previous winner (2016). He’s had a top 5 finish in all 4 playoff races this season too.
40 trucks showed up down here with 4 going home. Those 4 are Tim Viens, Jason White, Natalie Decker and 2019 winner Spencer Boyd. The each missed the cut.
Each of the last 4 races saw the winner lead only the final lap. The 2017 race saw Kligerman lead 3 total laps in the race, including the final 2.
Chevy Silverado 250 Starting Lineup
Row 1: John Hunter Nemechek (P), Chandler Smith (P)
Row 2: Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith (P)
Row 3: Matt Crafton, Ty Majeski (P)
Row 4: Colby Howard, Derek Kraus
Row 5: Jordan Anderson, Ryan Preece
Row 6: Tanner Gray, Corey Heim R
Row 7: Christian Eckes (P), Jack Wood R
Row 8: Ben Rhodes (P), Grant Enfinger (P)
Row 9: Austin Wayne Self, Stewart Friesen (P)
Row 10: Johnny Sauter, Tyler Ankrum
Row 11: Parker Kligerman, Bryan Dauzat
Row 12: Bret Holmes, Blaine Perkins R
Row 13: Clay Greenfield, Chase Purdy
Row 14: Hailie Deegan, Kaz Grala
Row 15: Parker Retzlaff, Matt DiBendedetto
Row 16: Jennifer Jo Cobb, Bayley Currey
Row 17: Timmy Hill, Lawless Alan R
Row 18: Dean Thompson R, Kaden Honeycutt