NASCAR: New driver, team on pole at Nashville

Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing Team, Ally 400, Nashville, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing Team, Ally 400, Nashville, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

For the first time ever, Ross Chastain and Trackhouse Racing Team have taken the pole position for a NASCAR Cup Series race, that being Sunday’s Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway.

It took until the 17th race in their third season of NASCAR Cup Series competition, but Trackhouse Racing Team have finally taken their first ever pole position.

Ross Chastain, who himself had never before taken a pole position, is set to start Sunday evening’s Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway from the top spot.

The Justin Marks and Pitbull-owned team entered the Cup Series in 2021 and competed in all 36 races with Daniel Suarez behind the wheel of the No. 99 Chevrolet. In 2022, they added a second car, the No. 1 Chevrolet, for ex-Chip Ganassi Racing driver Chastain when they acquired Chip Ganassi Racing.

They also added a third car, the No. 91 Chevrolet, through an initiative called PROJECT91, which is designed to give internationally renowned race car drivers the opportunity to compete in select Cup Series events.

That car has been entered in two races thus far, one last year at Watkins Glen International for former Formula 1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen and another one this past March at Circuit of the Americas for Raikkonen as well.

Add it all up, and Trackhouse Racing Team entered the Ally 400 race weekend at Nashville having made a total of 142 NASCAR Cup Series starts.

And now the team that earned their first three Cup Series victories a year ago have finally earned their first pole position.

Chastain, who has made 167 career starts, took the pole position for Sunday night’s 300-lap race by recording a lap time of 29.797 seconds (160.687 miles per hour) around the four-turn, 1.33-mile (2.140-kilometer) Lebanon, Tennessee oval in the second round of Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session.

23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace had been tracking to take his second career pole position before spinning out as he came to the checkered flag.

DraftKings Sportsbook, which is now offering fans an instant $150 just for signing up and betting $5, has Chastain listed as the second favorite to win Sunday’s race at +550, just behind Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr., who qualified in sixth place, at +450.

Chastain’s odds for a top three finish are listed at +150. In two career Cup Series starts at Nashville Superspeedway, he has recorded finishes of second and fifth place.

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Sunday’s Ally 400 is the first race of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season which is part of NBC’s broadcast schedule. Tune in at 7:00 p.m. ET for the live broadcast of the race from Nashville Superspeedway. Begin a free trial of FuboTV today and don’t miss it!