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Christopher Bell Notches 11th Career NASCAR Cup Series Pole

The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will lead the field to green in Sunday's AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway.


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Christopher Bell has become a qualifying machine over the last few of years as he recorded 10 poles between the 2022 and 2023 NASCAR Cup Series seasons. Saturday, at Kansas Speedway the driver of the No. 20 Yahoo! Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry XSE delivered his 11th career pole.

In the final round of the qualifying session, Bell cranked out a 29.491 sec. (183.107 mph) lap time, which was good enough to best Trackhouse Racing's Ross Chastain for the pole by 0.065 sec.

RELATED: NASCAR Cup Series AdventHealth 400 Starting Lineup

Bell was all smiles after his run, and he expressed pride in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team, which has shone brightly in qualifying since the adaptation of the Next Gen car in 2022.

"Yeah, I mean, qualifying on the intermediates has been really, really good for this whole team ever since the introduction of the Next Gen car," Bell said. "I can tell you right now, I live for those moments where it's just right on the verge of holding your foot down. Pretty sure we talked before qualifying about how I was perplexed about the amount of off-throttle time they had. There was more than I was expecting."

In addition to 11 career pole positions, Bell has seven career NASCAR Cup Series race wins. While Bell was extremely fast in qualifying, he cautions that the race will be completely different than qualifying, and he refuses to count his chickens in Sunday's AdventHealth 400 before they hatch.

"It's going to be a normal Kansas race. We see it time and time again. Whether it's 50 degrees, or 90 degrees, whenever you get into the race, the pace slows down," Bell explained. "The top is obviously the preferred groove here, but you're going to have to move around to pass, and you have to be versatile. We've executed qualifying a couple of times here at Kansas, and we have yet to win a race. Before we say we're going to go out and win, I just need to finish tomorrow. I need to see the checkered flag."

Starting behind the front row of Bell and Chastain will be Stewart-Haas Racing's Noah Gragson, who recorded his career-best starting position with an incredible third-place qualifying run. Gragson, who has four top-10 finishes this season now has back-to-back top-five starting positions.

Kyle Larson will start alongside Gragson in Row 2 of the starting grid in Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway.

Kyle Busch, Ty Gibbs, Austin Cindric, Michael McDowell, Chase Elliott, and Chase Briscoe will round out the top-10 starters in Sunday's race.

Briscoe got tight on his qualifying run, and made slight contact with the outside wall, which resulted in him finishing last in the final round of qualifying.

William Byron, who was fastest in NASCAR Cup Series practice, slammed the wall rather hard during his qualifying run, and was only able to muster the 36th starting spot in the 38-car field.

Photo Credit: Ben Earp, LAT Images for Toyota Racing

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