JR Motorsports’ Noah Gragson has won the pole for today’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Michigan International Speedway (3:30 pm ET, USA Network, NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com).
Gragson topped Saturday morning qualifying with a lap of 190.370 miles per hour around the 2-mile oval.
MORE: NASCAR Xfinity Series at Michigan – Starting Lineup
That lap was just fast enough to beat Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger (190.340 mph), who came within .006 of a second of Gragson on the final qualifying attempt of the session to claim second on the starting grid.
When asked what he and his team must do to convert the pole into a win this afternoon, Gragson’s response to NBC Sports was simple.
“Just not trying too hard,” he said. “I feel like when you try too hard, you can really take yourself out of the game and almost focus on the wrong things.
“I feel really comfortable and confident with this team. We’re here to win races. We really want to win at this place in particular… We just need to stay focused throughout the race and be there at the end.”
Like the front row, Row 2 will include a JRM and a Kaulig driver. JRM’s Justin Allgaier was third-quickest (189.643 mph) in qualifying, followed by Kaulig’s Daniel Hemric in fourth (189.618 mph).
Row 3 features Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sammy Smith (189.558 mph) and yet another JRM driver, Josh Berry (188.768 mph).
Also having solid qualifying efforts were Kyle Weatherman (eighth-fastest, 188.176 mph) and Brandon Brown (10th-fastest; 188.053 mph). Weatherman joins Brandon Jones on Row 4, while Brown joins Ty Gibbs on Row 5. Weatherman ties his best career qualifying effort.
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Michigan Xfinity starting lineup: Noah Gragson on pole originally appeared on NBCSports.com