Bubba Wallace will start the NASCAR Cup Series on pole for the first time.
Driver No. 23 was scorched on the track at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, becoming the only driver to break through at 190 mph in the final round of qualifying. He finished with an average lap of 190.703 mph, earning his first career Cup pole position.
The pole position is also the first for 23XI Racing, which begins fielding cars in 2021.
“The time has come,” Wallace tell NBC Sports After getting out of the car. “It took me five years to get my first pole.”
Wallace wasn’t the only driver to have a successful Saturday at Michigan Speedway in a Toyota. Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch will finish second and third behind Wallace, with all six Toyotas finishing in the top 11 for Sunday’s race.
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Wallace’s performance in qualifying added to the 28-year-old’s recent strong showing as he starts his 171st cup series this weekend. He has finished in the top 10 in each of the past three races, including third at New Hampshire and fifth at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Everyone on this No. 23 team, we’ve been doing a great job all year, really just not getting what we deserve,” Wallace said on NBC Sports. “…We keep showing up, ready to fight. It means a lot.
“The real job now is tomorrow, right?” he added. “We knew it was a completely different game.”
Wallace will be looking to clinch his second Cup Series win when the 400 kicks off at the FireKeepers Casino at Michigan International Speedway at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.
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