NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace takes home first pole in the cup – Orlando Sentinel

Brooklyn, Michigan – Bubba Wallace kicked off NASCAR’s weekend at Michigan International Speedway by winning his first pole position.

He achieved 190,703 mph in the #23 Toyota owned by fellow driver Denny Hamlin and NBA icon Michael Jordan.

Wallace, who won a NASCAR truck race at MIS in 2017, said, “It’s awesome. I’m proud of my team. At the cup level, there’s no messing around. You have to hit every mark.”

“With the speed we have, there’s no reason why we can’t go out and win,” said Wallace, who became the second black driver to win a trophy race 10 months ago.

Christopher Bell will start in the #20 Toyota in the front row with Wallace.

Kyle Busch’s #18 Toyota, Joey Lugano’s #22 Ford, and #2 Ford rookie Austin Cendrick completed the top five in the NASCAR Next Generation Car qualifying.

Eric Jones, one of two Michigan drivers in the race, will start 10th in a No. 43 Chevy.

“Everyone is learning, trying to get better and trying to figure out what you like about this car,” Jones said. “As drivers I think we all find the limits of this car. It was fun learning a new car and doing something completely different.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve driven something completely new and people don’t know much about it.”

Several drivers were asked before qualifying about the fallout from last weekend’s race on the road track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Several laps and collisions in the first turn dropped cars across the field and unleashed a new round of bitter feelings about aggressiveness and respect.

“The first thing we asked when we built this next-generation car was a more durable race car where we could crash and explode more,” Lugano said. “We got it, now we’re going to complain?

“We asked for it. The fans asked for it. Everyone asked for it.”

Fourteen drivers have won races this season.

“It was really fun to see the different races and the different people competing week in and week out,” Bell said. “It’s very different from what we’ve seen in the past.”

BUSCH . has not yet been dealt with

The two-time NASCAR Cup season champion, his wife and two children escaped from the Mall of America in Minnesota after this week’s shooting.

“If you look at that dark cloud over me lately, and then the other day, we’re in the wrong place at the wrong time often,” Bush said on Saturday.

When the shooting took place Thursday, Bush and his son Brixton were waiting in line to ride a rollercoaster while his wife, Samantha, and their daughter, Lennox, were shopping elsewhere in the nation’s largest shopping mall.

“It’s a tough process as an adult, but it’s really hard as a parent to explain to your child what happened,” Samantha wrote in an Instagram post.

No one was injured in the shooting, Bloomington Police Chief Booker T Hodges said, adding on Friday that the department was still searching for two people involved in the shooting.

However, the harrowing experience does not appear to give Bush a new perspective on his life and career. A two-time NASCR champ, he has no contract for next season and that appears to be his main concern.

“This is a performance-based business,” said Bush, who will start third at the FireKeepers 400 Casino. “So the fear of life or death if you get a job and you work and you make a living or you’re at home know your next steps?”

“I just thought about it like, ‘Okay, what are my next steps? What do I do if I don’t keep racing? And I have no idea. I have no idea.”

Bush, the 2015 and 2019 NASCAR Champion and winner of 60 Career Cup races, has one win this year and ranks 11th in points.

Over the past seven races, Bosch has failed to finish in the top ten. That extension includes a 36th place finish at Pocono two weeks ago after he and teammate Joe Gibbs Racing, who won the race, were disqualified due to Toyota’s failure. Searching operations.

“It’s a matter of luck,” Bush said, “and no one ever follows the 18th.”

PAYOFF

Four races remain in the regular season, creating a sense of urgency to qualify for the playoffs. This is true even for some drivers who have won the race.

NASCAR had 14 different cup winners this season, closing a playoff-era record of 16 players set last year. If a new flag is set and there are three new winners in the next four races, one driver with a victory from the 16 qualifying car will be eliminated by the tiebreaker on a points basis.

Chase Briscoe, who has one win and is number 12 in points, is confident his post-season bid is safe if there is no new MIS winner, although he would love to seal a spot on his own.

“Another win would be the easiest way to relieve the pressure by 100%,” said Briscoe, who will take 23rd place on the 37-car arena in Ford’s No. 14 Stuart Haas racing car.

Ford Extended Power

Chevrolet scored 13 victories, including four by points leader Chase Elliott, leaving Toyota (five) and Ford (four) searching for answers.

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Ford hopes its past success on the track in its backyard will provide a much-needed boost.

The manufacturer has won seven consecutive Cup races, including last year with Ryan Blaney, the two-mile oval about 50 miles west of its world headquarters in Motor City.

Despite this, it has been two months this season without a victory since Lugano claimed his second victory in 2022.

Lugano said he plans to compete aggressively.

“If it is not you who is making the move, then a step will be placed on you,” he said.

Possibilities and endings

Kevin Harvick hasn’t won since Sept. 19, 2020, but he leads all active drivers with five wins in Michigan. … Kurt Busch is missing his third race in a row with concussion-like symptoms after his July 23 collision in qualifying at Pocono Raceway. Ty Gibbs fills his place in Toyota’s #45 in the 23XI race.