Daytona Xfinity qualifying: Daniel Hemric nabs pole position

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Reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Daniel Hemric won the pole position for tonight’s season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Hemric (182.849 mph), who moved to Kaulig Racing this offseason, was fastest among the 10 drivers that advanced to the second round of qualifying.

He was the last of the 10 to make his second round attempt.

Daytona Xfinity Starting Lineup

MORE: Xfinity Series at Daytona – Start time, TV info, weather

“We didn’t know we had the speed to sit on the pole,” Hemric told Fox Sports. “We didn’t do any single car runs yesterday. But after we ran the fastest in the first round, we’re like, ‘Hell, we’re already here, might as well try to get a pole, right?’

“It’s definitely special any time you do something like this at Daytona.”

Starting with him on the front row will be Xfinity Series rookie Austin Hill (182.423 mph), who won at Daytona in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series back in 2019.

“It makes it a lot easier being on the front row,” Hill told Fox Sports. “I thought we might have had a shot at it – the Kaulig guys were pretty good there.

“We had a big pick-up from the first run, so that helped a lot.”

Row 2 features Big Machine Racing’s Jade Buford (182.352 mph) and Hill’s teammate at Richard Childress Racing, Sheldon Creed (181.998 mph), who’s also a series rookie in 2022.

Nine drivers failed to qualify into tonight’s 38-car field: David Starr, Alex Labbe, Stefan Parsons, Mason Massey, Natalie Decker, Gray Gaulding, Ronnie Bassett Jr., Harrison Rhodes and Tim Viens.

Green flag for the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner 300 is scheduled for 5:19 p.m. ET. Coverage is on FS1.