Sammy Smith topped the NASCAR Xfinity Series field during qualifying on Friday night at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, laying down a fast lap of 20.035 seconds in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
It was the 19-year-old’s first career NASCAR pole award.
“I feel like practice was good, qualifying was good. Just have to go execute tomorrow,” said Smith, who is sixth in the playoff standings heading into Saturday’s cutoff race. “I think there is really no strategy for us. We just have to go out and win. I feel like that is the biggest thing for us. I feel like we can do that. I feel like we need to do whatever it takes.”
JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier will start alongside Smith on the front row after qualifying second in his No. 7 Chevrolet with a 20.047-second lap time around the .525-mile track. Stewart-Haas Racing teammates filed in behind Allgaier, with the No. 00 of Cole Custer and No. 98 of Riley Herbst finishing third and fourth.
JGR’s John Hunter Nemechek qualified fifth, .078 seconds off Smith’s pace.
Brandon Jones, Chandler Smith, Sheldon Creed, Austin Hill and Parker Retzlaff completed the top 10.
The full Xfinity Series field will take the green on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (ET) for the Dead On Tools 250, which marks the cutoff race for the Round of 8. JRM’s Sam Mayer, who qualified 17th, is the only driver locked in to the Championship 4.