Aric Almirola scored just his third career pole and his first since 2019 as the second car out for qualifying at Nashville Superspeedway Sunday morning (June 20).
“That’s the hard part about this year without qualifying,” Almirola told NBC Sports. “We got in a wreck early at Daytona and it immediately puts you in a hole. Every race thereafter just compounds and last week always haunts you. You can’t ever start fresh the next week because you’re starting deep in the field.
“You work so much harder when you’re off; it’s unbelievable. We’ve been trying so hard to get back to the way we know how to run. Finally, something good happened to us.”
Almirola will lead the field to the green flag alongside Kyle Busch, who narrowly missed snagging the pole.
“I didn’t expect to qualify that well, so that’s certainly a positive,” Busch said. “That’s nice to have an up front spot like that. Overall, hopefully, today is a good day.
“We struggled yesterday so I wasn’t sure what we were going to have in store for us today. Felt OK there; have no idea what that means for a race car because we completely wholesaled everything and changed it all last night. We’ll see what we have here later today.”
Joey Logano starts third, while William Byron and Kyle Larson round out the top five.
Chase Elliott will start sixth, followed by Cole Custer. Alex Bowman, Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney round out the top 10 qualifiers.
Quin Houff did not complete his lap after nearly spinning out. He’ll start in the 39th and final spot.
Drivers are on the edge trying to find speed! pic.twitter.com/7ZMSiyAeyQ
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 20, 2021
Coverage for the Ally 400 begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.