HOMESTEAD, Fla — Trevor Bayne watched a lot of qualifying videos from the 2019 race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. That proved to be the difference in the Tennessee native blistering the field with a speed of 166.667 mph in his No. 18 Toyota on Friday night at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. He was the only driver to eclipse the 166 mph barrier under the lights on the South Florida track to score his 9th career NASCAR Xfinity Series pole.
It’s also Bayne first top 5 starting spot in 5 career Xfinity Series starts here. However, 3 of his previous 4 races saw him start in the top 10 still.
He’ll be joined on the front row by Noah Gragson. The JR Motorsports driver was the final qualifier of the single round session and turned a speed of 165.731 mph in his No. 9 Chevrolet. This is his second front row starting spot in his last 4 Homestead starts and fourth second place starting spot in his last 9 races on the year. However, he’s proven here though, that it doesn’t matter where he comes from, he always finds the front.
Gragson led 10 laps from his 10th starting spot in 2019 and finished 4th. He led 83 laps from his second starting spot in Race 1 of 2020 and was third in the end. A day later, he started 13th and led 81 more laps in a fifth-place effort. Last year, he started 23rd and led 34 laps before crashing with a lapped car while leading late. He’s finished in the top 3 in 6 of his last 7 starts on the season.
Gragson split the Joe Gibbs Racing duo of Bayne and Ty Gibbs (165.269 mph) with Gibbs earning his 6th top 3 starting spot in the last 7 races on the year. He has just 1 trip to victory lane in his last 14 starts on the season though.
Gragson and Gibbs were the only two drivers in Bayne’s zip code.
Daniel Hemric will start fourth in his No. 11 Chevrolet after a speed of 164.770 mph while Brandon Jones (164.494 mph) gave JGR 3 cars in the top 5 with his 5th top 5 starting spot in the last 8 races on the year. He’s also started in the top 5 in 4 of his last 5 Homestead starts too.
5 of the last 7 winners here came from the top 2 Rows including 4 of the 5 from the front row.
5 of the 8 playoff drivers will roll off inside of the top 10 on Saturday which is good news for them because every winner since 2008 has started in the top 10 here (15 races). Justin Allgaier had a disappointing qualifying effort in only starting 20th in his No. 7 Chevrolet. AJ Allmendinger was only 13th in his No. 16 Chevrolet. Last weeks winner, Josh Berry, starts 12th.
Gragson (+44) leads the points among non-winners this round with Gibbs (+25) and Allgaier (+15) each ahead of the cutline. Austin Hill (-15), Allmendinger (-16), Jones (-27) and Mayer (-36) each sit below it.
Row 1: Trevor Bayne (P owners), Noah Gragson (P)
Row 2: Ty Gibbs (P), Daniel Hemric
Row 3: Brandon Jones (P), Sam Mayer (P)
Row 4: Sheldon Creed R, Kyle Weatherman
Row 5: Chandler Smith, Austin Hill (P) R
Row 6: Nicholas Sanchez, Josh Berry (P)
Row 7: AJ Allmendinger, JJ Yeley
Row 8: Riley Herbst, Landon Cassill
Row 9: Joe Graf Jr., Stefan Parsons
Row 10: Myatt Snider, Justin Allgaier (P)
Row 11: Jeb Burton, Timmy Hill
Row 12: Bayley Currey, Brennan Poole
Row 13: Ryan Sieg, Jeremy Clements
Row 14: BJ McLeod, Mason Massey
Row 15: Parker Retzlaff, Patrick Emerling
Row 16: David Starr, Josh Williams
Row 17: Kyle Sieg R, Kris Wright
Row 18: Anthony Alfredo, Matt Mills
Row 19: Julia Landauer, CJ McLaughlin