Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200 Qualifying: Briscoe earns top speed

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 98 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing, earned the pole for the “Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200” NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday at Dover International Speedway.

Briscoe, a NASCAR Xfinity Series championship contender, turned a lap at 157.246 mph to win his first career Dover pole.

Four drivers will be eliminated from the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs following 200 laps at the Monster Mile. Entering today’s race, the four drivers in danger of elimination are John Hunter Nemechek (9 points behind the cutoff), Brandon Jones (9 behind), Ryan Sieg (37 behind) and Justin Haley (39 behind).

Christopher Bell and Cole Custer have already secured advancement into the next round of the playoffs. Other championship contenders include Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Briscoe, Noah Gragson and Michael Annett.

“We’re in a really good spot [going in to this week],” said Reddick, who enters the race 52 points over the cutoff. “We just have to be smart, get through the first stage, and then attack the race to the best of our ability.”

The green flag for the “Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200” NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race is scheduled for shortly after 3:15 p.m.

The all-time NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying record at Dover is held by Erik Jones, who turned a lap of 158.318 mph (22.739 seconds) on Oct. 2, 2016.