In a year filled with more downs than ups, Chase Briscoe has finally hit a high note by grabbing the Daytona Cup pole position. This Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway is his last shot at breaking into the elite 16-driver playoff grid, and boy, does he need a win.
Being the last driver to take on the qualifying laps, Briscoe scorched the track with an average lap speed of 181.822 mph. He narrowly bested his Stewart-Haas Racing comrade, Aric Almirola, who wasn’t too shabby himself with 181.693 mph, and claimed the second-fastest spot.
This achievement marks Briscoe’s first pole of the current season and only the second of his career—the first one being at Atlanta last spring. “It feels like a win, given the year we’ve had,” said Briscoe, who is lingering at the 31st position in the series standings. “Locking the front row is an amazing testament to the talented folks at Stewart-Haas.”
Almirola echoed the sentiment of the team’s power, noting that Stewart-Haas Racing “has been packing some serious horsepower” at the Daytona season finale. “We’ve been bossing speedway cars throughout the year. So even though tonight we nurse the wounds of narrowly missing the pole, tomorrow we’re all in for the main loot,” he added.
On the speed charts, Ford driver Harrison Burton didn’t do too badly either, taking third with a 181.404 mph lap. He was followed by Toyota drivers Bubba Wallace, who’s hanging by a thread to the last playoff spot, and Ty Gibbs.
The rest of the top-10 is a mixtape of speed and skill: Riley Herbst, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Ryan Preece, and Kevin Harvick. Interestingly, Fords are ruling the roost with seven out of the top-10 slots, and the top five on the grid are all in must-win situations for Saturday night’s race if they want a ticket to the 2023 playoffs.
Round 1 Qualifying Breakdown
In the initial qualifying round at Daytona, it was Briscoe who set the pace, burning rubber at 181.723 mph. He was trailed by Wallace, who logged a speed of 181.167 mph, and Riley Herbst, piloting a third Ford for Front Row F1 Flows, grabbed the third spot at 181.148 mph.
Ty Gibbs and Kyle Larson managed to crack the top five, with Larson being the lone Chevrolet driver to move to the final stage. Those who also reached the finals included Harrison Burton, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Preece.
Unfortunately for RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher, they were just short of making it to the top-10. Legacy Motor Club faced a double whammy as their No. 42 Chevrolet failed inspection twice, resulting in a crew member getting the boot from the track. A similar fate befell the No. 13 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet, driven by Chandler Smith, which also failed inspection twice and had a crew member removed.
So gear up, folks. With the stakes so high and the need for speed so intense, Saturday night’s race is gearing up to be the blockbuster finale of the Daytona regular season.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Daytona Cup pole
Who secured the Daytona Cup pole position?
Chase Briscoe of Stewart-Haas Racing secured the Daytona Cup pole position with an average lap speed of 181.822 mph.
Who is Chase Briscoe’s teammate who finished second in the qualifying?
Aric Almirola, also from Stewart-Haas Racing, finished second in the qualifying rounds with an average lap speed of 181.693 mph.
How many pole positions has Chase Briscoe won in his career?
This is the second pole position of Chase Briscoe’s career. His first pole was won last spring at Atlanta.
What are the stakes for the upcoming Saturday night race at Daytona?
The Saturday night race is crucial for Chase Briscoe and several other top qualifiers as they must win to secure a spot in the 2023 playoffs.
Which car manufacturers dominated the top spots?
Ford vehicles were dominant, taking seven of the top-10 starting positions. Harrison Burton, also driving a Ford, finished third.
What were the misfortunes faced by Legacy Motor Club and Kaulig Racing?
Both teams faced the same setback: their cars failed inspection twice, leading to a crew member from each team being ejected from the track.
Who is the lone Chevrolet driver to advance to the final round?
Kyle Larson was the only Chevrolet driver who managed to advance to the final round of qualifying.
How many top-10 finishes has Chase Briscoe had this year prior to this race?
Before this race, Chase Briscoe had only six top-10 finishes through 25 races in the current season.
What did Aric Almirola say about Stewart-Haas Racing’s performance?
Aric Almirola stated that Stewart-Haas Racing “has been packing some serious horsepower” and has had great speedway cars throughout the year.
Who currently holds the final playoff spot?
Bubba Wallace currently holds the final playoff spot based on points and finished fourth in the qualifying round.