BRISTOL, Tenn. — Aric Almirola won his first pole since June 2021 and will lead the field to the green flag in Saturday night’s Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“We’re showing what we’re capable of,” Almirola told NBC Sports’ Kim Coon.
This is Almirola’s fourth career Cup pole. His last pole was at Nashville in June 2021. He is the 14th different driver to win a pole this season.
Almirola will be joined by Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Chase Briscoe on the front row.
Alex Bowman qualified third. Denny Hamlin will start fourth. Kyle Larson, who signed a contract extension through 2026 to remain at Hendrick Motorsports, completed the top five.
Almirola and Brad Keselowski were the only non-playoff drivers to qualify in the top 10. Keselowski will start 10th.
Daniel Suarez, who is six points above the cutline going into Saturday’s elimination race, qualified 29th. That’s worst among the 16 playoff drivers. Austin Dillon, who is three points below the cutline, qualified 28th.
The Cup race will be at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday on USA Network. Countdown to Green airs at 6:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.