SPARTA, KY – Everyone kind of just assumed that Kyle Busch would earn the pole for Friday night’s Alsco 300 (8 p.m. ET/NBCSN/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at the Kentucky Speedway. Heading into this weekend’s race, Busch had won each of the last two pole awards on the 1.5-mile track in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition. He also won both races too.
Through the first two rounds of qualifying, Busch and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell were 1-2 in each session. Seemed like a Toyota front row lock out was in store for tonight’s 200 Lap race.
Instead, it was Cole Custer who topped everyone in the third and final round of qualifying as the Stewart-Haas Racing driver circled the track with an average speed of 181.458 mph in his No. 00 Ford. It was his fourth career XFINITY Series pole, all coming in 2018.
Joining Custer on the front row is Justin Allgaier. The JR Motorsports driver qualified with an average speed of 181.038 mph in his No. 7 Chevrolet.
Busch, could only muster the third starting spot as he wasn’t quite quick enough. His best lap was 181.026 mph in his No. 18 Toyota. The two time defending race winner was fifth and fourth respectively in practice on Thursday.
Rookie Austin Cindric (180.880 mph) and second year driver Daniel Hemric (180.578 mph) rounded out the top five.
Hemric, may be the sleeper out of that bunch as he’s been stellar in 2018 to go along with being third in each of yesterday’s two practice session.
Bell didn’t make a qualifying lap as he spun exiting Turn 4 on his qualifying lap. They’ll likely change his tires meaning his 12th place starting spot will be given up.
Alsco 300 Starting Lineup
Row 1: Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier
Row 2: Kyle Busch, Austin Cindric R
Row 3: Daniel Hemric, John Hunter Nemechek
Row 4: Matt Tifft, Tyler Reddick R
Row 5: Ryan Reed, Elliott Sadler
Row 6: Brandon Jones, Christopher Bell
Row 7: Ryan Truex, Paul Menard
Row 8: Spencer Gallagher, Ty Dillon
Row 9: Michael Annett, Ty Majeski
Row 10: Ryan Sieg, Jeremy Clements
Row 11: Ross Chastain, Joey Gase
Row 12: JJ Yeley, Garrett Smithley
Row 13: Alex Labbe R, BJ McLeod
Row 14: Brandon Hightower, Jeff Green
Row 15: Timmy Hill, David Starr
Row 16: Josh Williams, Morgan Shepherd
Row 17: Ray Black Jr., Josh Bilicki R
Row 18: Chad Finchum R, Spencer Boyd R
Row 19: Blake Jones, Vinnie Miller R
Row 20: Mike Harmon, Josh Reaume