XFINITY: Hemric Leads Rookie Sweep Of ToyotaCare 250 Front Row

Kyle Magda Featured, XFINITY Leave a Comment

Hemric won the pole for Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250 (Sarah Crabill/Getty Images North America photo).

RICHMOND, Va. — Last week’s Dash-4-Cash winner Daniel Hemric scored his first career XFINITY Series pole Saturday morning at Richmond Int’l Raceway.

Hemric ran a lap of 22.885 seconds (117.981 mph) in the final round of qualifying to score the top spot for Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250, the third of four Dash-4-Cash events this season.

The Richard Childress Racing driver qualified second at Fontana, but made it one position better in the No. 21 Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet this time around.

“We’ve been really good off the truck here,” Hemric said. “I didn’t know we had that much speed but it seems like everyone else lost the same amount of grip that I did. All my guys worked really hard yesterday … so far so good.”

Hemric turned the fastest time of the session at 22.668 seconds (119.006 mph) in round one, as qualifying times slowed considerably through each round.

Making it an all-rookie front row is 19-year-old Kyle Benjamin, who qualified second for Saturday afternoon’s race.

Debuting in the No. 20 ToyotaCare Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, Benjamin led final XFINITY practice Friday and backed up the speed in qualifying, posting a time of 22.903 seconds (117.888 mph) on his third round run.

“It’s definitely surprising (to qualify second),” Benjamin said. “We had good speed in practice and I got a lot of confidence the week leading up to this, getting to meet all the guys. We have a great team behind me. Didn’t know we qualified second … but definitely had confidence that we could do it and to go out and get that accomplished today.”

Daniel Suarez was fastest among the Cup interlopers in third (117.77 mph) with Austin Dillon fourth (117.611 mph).

XFINITY Series regulars swept all three rounds of qualifying, with Brennan Poole laying down the quickest time in the second round and starting fifth once the green flag drops.

Phoenix winner Justin Allgaier slotted in sixth (117.56 mph) while Cup Series points leader Kyle Larson was seventh (117.427 mph).

Ty Dillon starts alongside Larson’s No. 42 CreditOne Bank Chevrolet as one of five Cup drivers in the top-10. Rookie contender William Byron qualified ninth (117.325 mph), sporting the Liberty University colors for the second-straight week.

Ryan Blaney finished runner-up in his last three XFINITY starts and rolls off 10th (117.243 mph) looking to snap a year-and-a-half winless streak for the No. 22 team. All four JR Motorsports cars made the final round of qualifying including a 12th-place run from Michael Annett.

The top-two XFINITY series regulars from the each of the first two stages of Saturday’s race will compete for the $100,000 bonus in the final stage of the ToyotaCare 250.

Tommy Joe Martins and Morgan Shepherd failed to qualify for the 40-car field.

The green flag for the ToyotaCare 250 drops shortly after 1 p.m. ET, with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

Full qualifying results can be viewed on the next page…

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