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Martin Truex Jr. Nabs First Pole In Four Years For Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter 301 In Loudon

From the NASCAR Wire Service

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Martin Truex Jr., 42, earned his first pole position in four seasons, taking the top starting spot in Saturday qualifying with a lap of 127.113 mph at the one-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

He’ll start the No. 19 JGR Toyota in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter 301 (3 p.m. ET, USA Network, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) alongside last week’s race winner, Chase Elliott in the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Truex last started on pole at Kentucky Speedway in 2018 – one of two race wins from pole in the last three times he’s started out front. Another showing like that this week would be key for Truex, who is still racing for his first victory in 2022. His best showing a fourth place at Richmond, 13 races ago.

It’s the second pole position for Truex at New Hampshire – last earning the top starting spot in his 2017 championship season – and 20th pole position of his career.

Kurt Busch and his 23XI Racing teammate Bubba Wallace will start their Toyotas on the second row, followed by another Toyota, JGR’s Christopher Bell, who has three Xfinity Series wins at the track and finished runner-up to Aric Almirola in last year’s NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire.

Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron – who was fastest in practice – qualified sixth, followed by the defending winner Almirola, reigning series champion Kyle Larson, two-time New Hampshire race winner Brad Keselowski and four-time New Hampshire winner Kevin Harvick.

It’s the best start for Keselowski, in his first year as co-owner of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Keselowski Ford, since a third-place qualifying effort at Daytona – his only other top-10 start of the season.


Tyler Reddick, who earned his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory two races ago at Elkhart Lake, Wisc. was part of a major – and unique – announcement this week.

The 23XI Racing team announced Reddick will be driving for them in 2024 – stunning much of the NASCAR world as the team secured its future driver more than a year before the current Richard Childress Racing driver will join the two-year old organization.

“Announcing a driver over a year before he will be racing with 23XI is a little unprecedented, but Tyler was the driver we wanted and we did not want to miss the opportunity to bring him to our team,’’ 23XI President Steve Lauletta said Tuesday.

“In making the announcement now the team has ample time to prepare for 2024 on the business side as we expect interest from potential partners and continue to see strong engagement from our current partners.”


Stewart-Haas Racing driver Almirola is the defending winner of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race and there has been a lot of recent speculation as to whether the 38-year old may change his mind about retiring at the end of the 2022 season as he had planned.

“It is humbling to have people keep questioning me about it,’’ said Almirola, who is ranked 18th in the championship and likely needing a victory to secure a 2022 Playoff position.

“I have given it thought but I don’t have anything new to say really as of right now. I think for us and for our race team, my focus is to get through these next few weeks and try to win a race to get our way into the Playoffs.

“I would like to do that here this weekend like we did last year. As far as anything that goes past this year, I don’t have anything new to say than what I’ve said previously.’’

After adjusting for race winners – Almirola trails 16th place Christopher Bell by 42 points in that final Playoff transfer position. A three-race winner in his 11-year, full-time NASCAR Cup Series career, Almirola has had a pair of top-5 finishes and six top-10 runs in 2022.

Chase Briscoe’s win at Phoenix in March is the only victory for the Stewart-Haas Racing organization this season and he’s the only driver among the four SHR racers with a secured spot in the Playoffs.

— NASCAR Wire Service —

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