Ross Chastain Exercises Qualifying Demons For First-Career Pole
Ross Chastain ripped the quickest lap in Round 2 of NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at Nashville Superspeedway to score his first career pole and the first-ever pole in Trackhouse Racing's history.
Ross Chastain, and Trackhouse Racing, sent a message in NASCAR Cup Series qualifying for Sunday's Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway. Chastain, the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 turned a blistering lap time of 29.797 sec (160.687 mph) in the final round of the session.
Chastain's lap was more than two-tenths-of-a-second faster than Tyler Reddick, the second-place qualifier, and he was the lone driver to turn a sub-30-second lap in Round 2 of qualifying.
The pole will mark the first-career pole for Chastain and it comes in his 167th NASCAR Cup Series start. The pole, likewise, is the first-ever pole for the Trackhouse Racing team, which was founded in 2021.
For Chastain, it was fitting that his first pole and Trackhouse's first pole came in Nashville, where the team was originally established.
"It's so much bigger than just one race, or just getting the first pit stall. For Nashville, where Trackhouse was born and started out of Broadway with Tootsies and Justin and everybody," Chastain explained.
While it was a big day for Trackhouse, Chastain also stated that he exercised a lot of personal demons on Saturday with his pole-winning run.
"Just so much, personally so much agony in qualifying. My entire life, I've never tied together laps like the car was capable of," Chastain admitted. "I've always left time out there. Just to back up my time from Round 1 to Round 2 was the goal, and like so much -- I don't even know how to describe it.
"So much personal frustration with myself over the years. Then going to work for over a decade in the sport to try to qualify better, and it just hasn't shown results. For our Worldwide Express team, it's all about results and shipping things faster than everybody else and better. It's awesome for the team."
Reddick, who pilots the No. 45 Toyota Camry TRD for 23XI Racing, will line up alongside Chastain in Sunday's starting grid from the second starting spot.
Justin Haley will roll from the grid in a career-best third-place starting spot in the No. 31 Kaulig Racing entry, and he'll be followed by Joey Logano, William Byron, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Bubba Wallace.
Wallace, who was very fast in Round 1 of qualifying, was fortunate to get through his run without any major damage to his car, as he spun coming off of Turn 4.
Here is a video of the issue for Wallace:
In what turned out to be a treacherous qualifying session at the 1.333-mile speedway in Lebanon, Tennessee, Wallace wasn't the only driver that found trouble.
Daniel Suárez, who drives the No. 99 entry for Trackhouse Racing and turned the fastest overall lap of Round 1 of qualifying, wasn't as fortunate as Wallace. Suárez will officially be credited with the 10th-place starting spot, but his team will have to work on his car as he spun into the outside wall during his qualifying run.
Here is a video of Suárez's qualifying crash, which occurred as he was coming to the green flag of his timed lap:
Suárez will likely drop to the rear of the field before the green flag of Sunday's race.
In Round 1 of qualifying, Corey LaJoie also found trouble, as he lost control in Turns 3 and 4 with his No. 7 Spire Motorsports machine. LaJoie slapped the outside wall with his right rear and spun through the infield grass.
Here is a video of LaJoie's qualifying incident:
LaJoie was unable to complete his lap and will start the Ally 400 from the 36th position.
Photo Credit: Jonathan McCoy, TobyChristie.com