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Jim Utter

Reddick tops Bell for Roval Cup pole; Hamlin spins

Reddick, one of the four drivers lowest in points without a win heading into the final race of the Round of 16, went out early in the 10-minute final round of qualifying and went right to the top of the speed chart.

Reddick’s average lap speed of 102.839 mph was enough to hold off Christopher Bell (102.695 mph) to claim the pole in Sunday’s race on the Charlotte Roval.

The pole is the second this season for Reddick, sixth of his career and third on a road course. One of his two victories this season also came on a road course, at the Circuit of the Americas.

“This is exactly what we needed to do,” Reddick said. “We had a plan. Obviously, it’s hard for every part of our plan to go right but this is what we needed to do on Saturday.

Obviously, missed a little bit on the first lap in practice but we had good pace for the most part. I knew I had to go and qualify here to give us some opportunities and some options, right? So, we’ll see how the race plays out, but it will be nice to have track position to start.

“We’ll see how it goes.”

Daniel Suarez was third fastest, Reddick’s 23XI Racing teammate Bubba Wallace was fourth and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five.

A.J. Allmendinger will line up sixth, Joey Logano seventh and Chase Elliott eighth.

Two drivers failed to record a speed in the final round.

During his qualifying attempt in the last minute of the final round, Denny Hamlin spun around going through the backstretch chicane and stalled on the track. He will be credited with a ninth-place start.

Because Ty Gibbs waited to go out and was on the track at the same time Hamlin spun, he lost his chance to complete a qualifying lap. He will line up 10th.

Round 1 / Group A

Much like in Saturday’s practice, 23XI Racing teammates Reddick and Wallace led the way in the first group with Reddick’s average lap speed at 103.207 mph.

Wallace was second fastest (102.899 mph) and Bell was third (102.875 mph).

Also advancing to the final round of qualifying were Suarez and Logano.

Among those who failed to move on were William Byron, Brad Keselowski, Alex Bowman and Austin Dillon.

Round 1 / Group B

Allmendinger maintained his performance from practice and had the fastest average lap speed (103.295 mph) in Group B.

Elliott was second fastest (103.242 mph) and Busch was third (103.157 mph).

Also advancing to the final round of qualifying were Hamlin and Gibbs.

Among those who failed to move on were Martin Truex Jr., last week’s race winner Ryan Blaney and Chris Buescher.

Kyle Larson did not make a qualifying attempt after wrecking in Saturday’s practice and moving to a backup car and engine. He will start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field.

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