DuraMAX Drydene 400: Buescher captures first career pole position

Chris Buescher will lead the NASCAR Cup Series field to the green flag for Sunday’s DuraMAX Drydene 400 presented by RelaDyne at Dover Motor Speedway.

Buescher lapped the Monster Mile in 22.479 seconds, averaging 160.149 mph to put the No. 17 RFK Racing Ford on the top of the chart.

The pole is the first in Buescher’s NASCAR career and comes ahead of his 233rd Cup start.

“Obviously an awesome start for our Fastenal group and pretty cool for RFK [Racing] to get our first pole and my first Cup Series pole,” Buescher said after securing the top starting spot.

“It’s not the race – we have a lot of laps left to go – but a heck of a start and no better place to see the green flag fall.”

Denny Hamlin will start alongside Buescher on the front row, with Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney rounding out the top 5.

DURAMAX DRYDENE 400 PRESENTED BY RELADYNE LINEUP

Saturday’s practice and qualifying session offered the first opportunity for NASCAR Cup Series drivers and teams to shake down their Next Gen racecars on Dover’s concrete ahead of what’s expected to be a challenging 400-mile race on Sunday.

“This place is intimidating. Walking in across the crossover bridge is a good reminder for how hard this place is, especially with this new car,” said Ross Chastain, who comes to Dover fresh off his second victory of the season at Talladega. “I’m nervous. That’s what I feel right now. I feel prepared, but just the unknowns of it has the potential to be really volatile behind the wheel with the set up.”

Miles the Monster showed no mercy on Saturday, claiming a number of victims as drivers found trouble during practice. Rookies Harrison Burton and Todd Gilliland each spun their Fords and made contact with the outside barrier in turns 3 and 4 but avoided major damage. Josh Bilicki and William Byron weren’t as fortunate; each made significant contact with the wall that will likely require their teams to unload backup cars.

If Saturday’s mishaps are any indication, taming the Monster Mile during Sunday’s DuraMAX Drydene 400 presented by RelaDyne will be a tall task for NASCAR’s best drivers and a thrilling show for the fans.

For more information on this weekend’s events, or to purchase tickets, visit DoverSpeedway.com or call 800-441-RACE (800-441-7223).