Back to News

May 4, 2024

Christopher Bell earns Busch Light Pole at Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Christopher Bell lives for the thrill of qualifying on intermediate speedways.

But at this point, he’d probably give his eye teeth, just to finish a race on Sunday.

Related Story
What to Watch: NASCAR’s best set for mid-spring showdown at Kansas What to Watch: NASCAR’s best set for mid-spring showdown at Kansas

Navigating Kansas Speedway in an impressive 29.491 seconds (183.107 mph) in the final round of NASCAR Cup Series time trials on Saturday afternoon, Bell won the pole position for Sunday’s AdventHealth 400 (3 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

He’ll share the front row with Chevrolet driver Ross Chastain (182.704 mph), whose lap was 0.065 seconds off Bell’s blistering pace.

RELATED: Sunday’s starting lineup | At-track photos: Kansas

The Busch Light Pole Award is Bell’s first of the season, his third at the 1.5-mile track and the 11th of his career, all coming since NASCAR introduced the Next Gen car into the Cup Series in 2022.

Even as he accepted congratulations for his pole-winning effort, however, Bell was already looking ahead to Sunday’s race, the series’ 12th of the season.

“I love the high-speed places, the places where you’re on the verge of being wide-open or not being wide-open, and the intermediates have been really good for us,” said Bell, who has more poles in the Next Gen era than any other driver.

Since winning the third race of the season at Phoenix Raceway in March, however, Bell and his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team have suffered a litany of misfortunes. In his last four starts, Bell has posted a best finish of 17th at Texas Motor Speedway and three results of 34th or worse.

“Honestly, at this point, I’m not looking for a race win, guys,” said Bell, who described his 34th-place run last Sunday at Dover Motor Speedway as “the bottom of the barrel.”

“I’m just looking to see the checkered flag. I know my car has great capability, and if I just see the checkered flag with a clean car, we’re going to have a good, solid day, and that’s definitely what we’re after tomorrow.”

Ford driver Noah Gragson (182.451 mph) qualified third, sustaining the momentum from a pair of top-10 performances at Talladega Superspeedway and Dover. Kyle Larson was fourth fastest at 182.383 mph, followed by Kyle Busch, Ty Gibbs and Austin Cindric.

Michael McDowell, Chase Elliott and Chase Briscoe will start from positions eighth through 10th, respectively.

Reddick fastest in Cup Series practice

23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick topped the leaderboard in practice at 181.002 mph.

William Byron (180.222 mph), Bubba Wallace (179.736 mph), Noah Gragson (179.366 mph) and Denny Hamlin (179.146 mph) rounded out the top five.

MORE: Practice results

Kyle Busch (178.897 mph), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (178.814 mph), Chase Elliott (178.767 mph), Kyle Larson (178.737 mph) and Michael McDowell (178.684 mph) completed the top 10.