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Preece ended up fourth-fastest on his first lap, but also many drivers didn’t improve their speed on the second lap, he did – grabbing his first career pole with an average lap speed of 94.780 mph.
It was a welcome surprise for Preece, who has struggled so far this year in his first season driving the No. 41 Ford for SHR.
Suarez and Aric Almirola actually tied for second-fastest (94.298 mph) but Suarez will take the front row spot based on owner’s points.
Round 1 / Group B
Preece, who struggled in practice, topped Group B in qualifying with an average lap speed of 94.463 mph – the fastest lap of the day at the time.
Briscoe ended up second-fastest (94.420 mph) and Wallace was third (94.402 mph).
Also advancing to the final round were Almirola and Byron, who was second-fastest in practice earlier Saturday.
Round 1 / Group A
Truex, the next to last to make a qualifying attempt in his group, ended up with the fastest average speed (94.181 mph).
Suarez was second-fastest (94.027 mph) and Harvick was third (93.933 mph).
Also advancing to the final round were Buescher and Reddick, who had been fastest in practice earlier in the day.
Elliott is making his first start on Sunday after missing six races recovering from a fractured tibia in his left leg in a snowboarding accident in early March.
“It actually feels pretty good,” Elliott said of his left leg. “I had an abysmal qualifying lap but I can’t blame my leg.”