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Connor Hall Earns Thanksgiving Classic Pole

The race pays $50,000 to win this year and features a 31 car field.


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It hasn’t been the autumn Connor Hall and Chad Bryant Racing have arguably earned, but they will have a great chance to end it on fantastic note starting from the pole in the $50,000 to win Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park.

The No. 77 posted the fastest lap of time trials with a 15.386 around the .4-mile in Lucama, North Carolina.

In all, the race has invited 31 marquee Late Model Stock Car teams, including some notable national entrants in the final race of the season for perimeter rail Mid-Atlantic Late Models -- but none faster than Hall and Chad Bryant Racing.

"I don't know how this place is going to race," Hall said. "I raced here a bunch in 2016 and we never came back until last year but what I immediately noticed was a lack of grip. I don't know if it's because of the lack of racing here this year or whatnot but it's truly running like a low grip race track.

"Saving is going to be a lot more important. You're going to see a lot of comers or goers."

Hall finished second in the CARS Tour standings this summer to Carson Kvapil and JR Motorsports but suffered a lot of misfortune and the occasional controversy in the final race. The performance is there and could lead to a big payoff to end the season.

"I hope it plays out smart, because we’ve had a rough patch of races here so regardless, just trying to turn that around and give the Chad Bryant Racing group the results they deserve."

To his outside on the start will be defending race winner and NASCAR Xfinity Series championship finalist Josh Berry in the other JR Motorsports entry.

"I don’t really like how our car has been today," Berry said. "We have to work on it and get it better. We need to be better tomorrow to give ourselves a shot. We have a great starting spot, so we just need to keep working on it and put ourselves in a good spot to try to win it."

Two-time race winner and current NASCAR Cup Series crew chief at Roush Fenway Keselowski, Matt McCall, will start sixth as one of the expected race favorites. He is again racing out of the Wendell Davis stable -- a reunion of the team that won the 2009 UARA Late Model Stock championship.

"It’s a long race, thankfully, because I messed that lap up and should have done better, I think," McCall said. "It’s going to be slick out there, a long race with a lot of different strategy options and when to pit and stuff."

Lining up next to him at the start will be Brenden Queen, one week removed from winning the South Carolina 400 at Florence Motor Speedway for Lee Pulliam Performance, but this time driving his own family owned car.

"We haven’t been that good all weekend, fighting some steering and handling issues," Queen said. "But we were right there with Berry last year and we qualified better than I thought we would to be honest. I didn’t think we had that kind of short run speed in it.

"Hopefully it can hang on near the front and we can keep the fenders on it and give ourselves a shot tomorrow."

Of note, Mike Looney and the Nelson Motorsports No. 22 team withdrew from the race after breaking a brake rotor in practice, resulting in a spin and suspension damage. This was set to be the debut race for the 2016 Martinsville 300 winner at Nelson Motorsports following the departure of Bobby McCarty.

The starting lineup for the race can be found below.

  1. Connor Hall
  2. Josh Berry
  3. Brenden Queen
  4. Matt McCall
  5. Jeb Burton
  6. Deac McCaskill
  7. Jared Fryar
  8. Andrew Grady
  9. Jonathan Findley
  10. Tristen McKee
  11. Logan Clark
  12. Dylan Newsome
  13. Dean Shifflet
  14. Conner Jones
  15. Doug Barnes
  16. Carson Kvapil
  17. Ryan Wilson
  18. Charlie Watson
  19. Kaden Honeycutt
  20. Carter Langley
  21. Justin Johnson
  22. Clay Jones
  23. Jody Measmer
  24. Connor Mosack
  25. Austin Somero
  26. Daniel Vuncannon
  27. Chase Burrow
  28. Mason Bailey
  29. Kade Brown
  30. Stacy Puryear
  31. Michael Hardin