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Qualifying report
NASCAR Cup New Hampshire

NASCAR Cup NHMS: Qualifying rained out; Chase Elliott on pole

Chase Elliott’s rise to the top of the NASCAR Cup standings has come with a bonus, helping him earn the pole for Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Persistent rain around the 1.058-mile track in Loudon, N.H., on Saturday forced the cancelation of Saturday’s qualifying session.
The field for Sunday’s race was set by the NASCAR performance metric, which is based in large part on the driver’s most recent finishing position and his team’s rank in owner points.
Elliott's third place at Iowa last week helped him take over the series points lead, which contributed to the lowest metric score and puts him on the pole this weekend.
New Hampshire has been a difficult track for Elliott since he entered the Cup series. In 10 series starts, he has three top-10 finishes, with a best finish of second in the 2022 season, the year he won his first Cup championship.
Even with a win already in hand this season and his rise to the top of the series standings, Elliott believes his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team has yet to reach its full potential.
“I think that’s exciting. I think that’s okay, too, because it is only halfway through the year,” Elliott said. “As we all know, the way this playoff situation is now, you want to be good those last 10 (races), and really good in the last five.
“The trick is being good enough to get to the Round of 8 and really try to be spectacular those last three or four weeks. So, it’s really just about having a solid enough base to get you through there and really trying to hit home runs in those last few races.”
Elliott will have some familiar company at the front of the field.
Reigning series champion Ryan Blaney will line up second, followed by Elliott’s HMS teammate, William Byron. Christopher Bell starts third and fellow HMS teammate Alex Bowman rounds out the top five.
Completing the top 10 starting lineup is Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Ross Chastain, Brad Keselowski and Josh Berry.
Just nine races remain in the regular season. Elliott holds an eight-point lead over his teammate Kyle Larson in the battle for the regular season title (and the 15 playoff points that come with it). Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin is third in points (-38 from Elliott), Byron (-54) is fourth and Truex (-61) rounds out the top five.
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