Sammy Smith and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team will start from pole position during Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series race. (HHP/Jim Fluharty photo)

Sammy Smith To Start From Pole In Atlanta

HAMPTON, Ga. — As rain showers have continued to fall over Atlanta Motor Speedway, Friday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying was canceled and the starting lineup has been set by performance metric.

Last week’s winner and Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver Sammy Smith will start his No. 18 Toyota from the pole in Saturday’s RAPTOR King of Tough 250. JGR teammate John Hunter Nemechek will join Smith on the front row in his No. 20 Toyota.

Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill, who is the series points leader, JGR’s Ryan Truex and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Riley Herbst complete the top five starters.

Notably, the top three on the grid have all won at least one race this year.

Hill has won two of the four races this season, while Nemechek claimed victory at California’s Auto Club Speedway on Feb 26.

Meanwhile, Smith collected his first career Xfinity Series win last weekend at Phoenix Raceway.

The trio will be in prime position to contend for another win during Saturday’s 251-mile race, which begins at 5 p.m. (ET).