BRISTOL, Tenn. – Sammy Smith left no doubt who had the fastest car in town during General Tire Pole Qualifying for Thursday evening’s Bush’s Beans 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Smith toured the .533-mile concrete high banks in 15.171 seconds (126.478 mph) with the Kyle Busch Motorsports-prepared No. 18 TMC Transportation Toyota, capturing the top starting spot ahead of the 200-lap affair.
It sets the 18-year-old Iowan up strong as he begins his quest to capture a pair of series championships at The Last Great Colosseum.
“It was a really strong lap,” Smith said of his run. “Our car is really good right now, and we made some good adjustments from practice to qualifying that I think helped us out. Now we just have to carry this into the race.”
With comfortable point margins in both the ARCA Menards Series East and Sioux Chief Showdown Series standings, Smith added that he’s not worried about “points racing” when it comes time to drop the green flag – his focus is forward on ending the night in victory lane.
“I think, for us, it’s about racing the race and not worrying about where everyone else is,” he noted. “If we can perform like we have all season, the rest of it should take care of itself.”
NASCAR Xfinity Series moonlighter Brandon Jones will start alongside Smith on the front row, taking the No. 81 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to a time of 15.222 seconds (126.054 mph). Taylor Gray, Jesse Love and Connor Mosack closed out the top five starters.
Sixth through 10th were Daniel Dye, Rajah Caruth, Nick Sanchez, Parker Chase and Mason Diaz.
Thursday’s qualifying session featured a 20-minute open track period, with each car limited to one on-track attempt but able to turn as many laps as the driver and team desired during that attempt.
All 31 teams on the property will start the Bush’s Beans 200, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET on FS1.
FEATURED PHOTO CREDIT: Jacob Seelman/KTT