BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP)– Aric Almirola proceeded the fad of non-playoff motorists stealing the show with a pole-winning run Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Saturday evening race at Bristol is the very first playoff eliminator and also the 16-driver area will be cut by four. Christopher Bell is the only driver locked right into the next round because non-playoff drivers Erik Jones and also Bubba Wallace won the first 2 rounds.
Now it will be Almirola leading the field to the green flag after Stewart-Haas Competing teammate Chase Briscoe could not knock him from the post in Friday’s last run. Briscoe, in addition to SHR vehicle driver Kevin Harvick, are both listed below the cutline as well as in danger of playoff elimination.
Almirola, who revealed before the start of the period that he was retiring and then did a mid-season about-face, is not competing for the championship. He was 19th in the standings at the end of the regular period.
“We were saddened we didn’t make the playoffs, but we’re showing what we’re capable of. We can race with these people,” Almirola claimed.
His lap at 127.826 miles per hour on the brief track held off Briscoe, who went 127.503 mph to place a set of Fords on the front row. It’s the fourth post of Almirola’s profession.
Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports certified 3rd in a Chevrolet and was adhered to by Toyota motorist Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing. Existing Mug champ Kyle Larson of Hendrick qualified fifth– hours after announcing a three-year contract expansion– in advance of fellow playoff vehicle drivers Ryan Blaney of Team Penske, Harvick, Bell of JGR and Austin Cindric of Penske.
Brad Keselowski, who is not playoff eligible for the very first time in virtually a years, certified 10th as Fords took 7 of the top-11 starting areas. Cole Custer of SHR certified 11th.
Kyle Busch, that is in risk of removal, certified 21st. He spun in Friday technique as well as his keep up JGR as well as Toyota is nearing an end. He introduced today he’s moving to Richard Childress Racing and also Chevrolet next year, and also his final title chase with Gibbs will finish if the two-time champion is gotten rid of.
Austin Dillon, who is likewise listed below the cutline, certified 28th. Harvick is last in the 16-driver playoff area and also have to win Saturday night to development.