NASCAR Cup Series USA Today 301: Qualifying Rained Out, Chase Elliott’s Pole Position, Lineup At New Hampshire Motor Speedway

nhms qualifitying rained out (1)

With rain wiping out Saturday’s qualifying session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, NASCAR Cup Series points leader Chase Elliott was awarded the pole position for Sunday’s USA Today 301.

“Yeah, I mean obviously we’d rather have an actual pole, for sure,” Elliott told “But you know, circumstances being what they are, fortunately our team has been performing at a really solid level over the past couple of months. The reality of it is that it put us in a position to have a good starting spot for a rainout situation. That’s just the reality of the weekend. Certainly, we’ll take a good starting spot, and more importantly, take a really good pit pick there on pit road.”

Ryan Blaney, the winner of last Sunday’s debut event at Iowa Speedway, earned the No. 2 starting position. The second row will be occupied by William Byron on the inside and Christopher Bell on the outside.

With rain subsiding briefly, the 1.058-mile oval was opened for a brief practice session. It ended up lasting about five minutes. In that time, though, rookie Carson Hocevar recorded a hot lap of 127.534 mph, which topped the limited field.

With more rain expected Sunday, the start of the USA Today 301 was moved up to 2 p.m. ET.

Christopher Bell Announces Chase Briscoe Breaking News 

Christopher Bell laughed it off. So did Chase Briscoe. 

On Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Bell spoke to reporters and let potential breaking news slip out. When the laughing subsided, Bell presented circuit insiders with an informative nugget to ponder until Joe Gibbs Racing eventually releases an official announcement.

“I don’t think there really is a leadership role in that aspect, and whenever Chase comes into the car — whenever someone, I don’t even know what to say,” Bell said as reported by “Whenever we have a new driver into the 19 car, whenever we have a new driver in the 19 car, whoever that is, their experience level will dictate how much input they have in the team.” 


Briscoe will replace 2017 Cup champion Martin Truex Jr., who will retire following the season, according to Bell. Truex has spent the past six seasons at Huntersville, N.C.-based JGR. Since the start of 2016, the 43-year-old driver has captured 33 races. 

With Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cup garage going dark, Briscoe, 30, needed a ride for 2025. Entering Sunday’s USA Today 301, Briscoe ranked No.17 in the points standings. His three current teammates, Josh Berry, Noah Gragson and Ryan Preece, do not have new jobs lined up for next season.

Starting Lineup for NASCAR Cup Series’ USA Today 301

Here is a look at the lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series’ USA Today 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:

Starting Position, Driver, Car No., Team

  • 1, Chase Elliott, 9, Hendrick Motorsports
  • 2, Ryan Blaney, 12, Team Penske
  • 3, William Byron, 24, Hendrick Motorsports
  • 4, Christopher Bell, 20, Joe Gibbs Racing
  • 5, Alex Bowman, 48, Hendrick Motorsports
  • 6, Joey Logano, 22, Team Penske
  • 7, Martin Truex Jr., 19, Joe Gibbs Racing
  • 8, Ross Chastain, 1, Trackhouse Racing
  • 9, Brad Keselowski, 6, RFK Racing
  • 10, Josh Berry, 4, Stewart-Haas Racing
  • 11, Daniel Suarez, 99, Trackhouse Racing
  • 12, Tyler Reddick, 45, 23XI Racing
  • 13, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 47, JTG Daugherty Racing
  • 14, Denny Hamlin, 11, Joe Gibbs Racing
  • 15, Chris Buescher, 17, RFK Racing
  • 16, Todd Gilliland, 38, Front Row Motorsports
  • 17, Bubba Wallace, 23, 23XI Racing
  • 18, Ty Gibbs, 54, Joe Gibbs Racing
  • 19, Kyle Larson, 5, Hendrick Motorsports
  • 20, Carson Hocevar, 77, Spire Motorsports
  • 21, Noah Gragson, 42, Stewart-Haas Racing
  • 22, Austin Dillon, 3, Richard Childress Racing
  • 23, Chase Briscoe, 14, Stewart-Haas Racing
  • 24, Justin Haley, 51, Rick Ware Racing
  • 25, Michael McDowell, 34, Front Row Motorsports
  • 26, Corey LaJoie, 7, Spire Motorsports
  • 27, Harrison Burton, 21, Wood Brothers Racing
  • 28, John Hunter Nemechek, 42, Legacy Motor Club
  • 29, Austin Cindric, 2, Team Penske
  • 30, Kyle Busch, 8, Richard Childress Racing
  • 31, Ryan Preece, 41, Stewart-Haas Racing
  • 32, Erik Jones, 43, Legacy Motor Club
  • 33, Daniel Hemric, 31, Kaulig Racing
  • 34, Zane Smith, 71, Spire Motorsports
  • 35, Kaz Grala, 15, Rick Ware Racing
  • 36, Ty Dillon, 16, Kaulig Racing

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