Story By: HOLLY CAIN / NASCAR – DOVER, DE – Chris Buescher earned his first career NASCAR Cup Series pole position at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway Saturday and will lead the field to green in Sunday’s DuraMAX Drydene 400 (3 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
The driver of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing Ford turned a fast lap of 159.207 mph around the concrete Monster Mile – the second of the 10 final qualifiers to go in the final session. The 29-year old Texan’s time was .057-second faster than Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
This is Buescher’s first pole position in 233 NASCAR Cup Series race starts.
“That’s just awesome right there,’’ a smiling Buescher said after watching the final session on pit road.
“That was a good effort during practice. [His teammate] Brad [Keselowski] went out there and put down some really great laps and came over and saw some things, relayed it and everyone did a good job working on this thing and got our Fastenal Mustang on the front row so that’s a heckuva start.
“Good to do that here in Dover. I love this place. It’s a ride. We’re flying around here.’’
Hendrick Motorsports drivers Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott will start from the second row, followed by Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney and defending race winner, Hendrick’s Alex Bowman.
Last week’s Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway race winner Ross Chastain – fastest in the opening round of time trails – will start seventh alongside Daniel Suarez. Bubba Wallace and Kyle Busch will round out the Top-10 starters in a pair of Toyotas.
Austin Cindric was fastest in practice but did not advance to the final qualifying round. He was the fastest rookie qualifier and will start the No. 2 Team Penske Ford from 12th position.
Kevin Harvick, one of three three-time Dover race winners, was 11th fastest in qualifying just missing the final round. It will be his highest starting position in the last three races. The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford is looking to score his first win since Sept. 19, 2020 (at Bristol, Tenn.) – 53 races ago. He won at Dover, Del. that same year.