BRISTOL, Tenn. — Chase Elliott earned his first pole on a short track with a fast lap around Bristol Motor Speedway in Friday qualifying.

Elliott turned a lap at 131.7132 mph Friday around the oval to earn the fifth pole of his career. His previous four were at Daytona or Talladega, the biggest and fastest tracks on the NASCAR circuit.

Elliott edged teammate William Byron for the top starting spot and an all-Hendrick Motorsports front row Sunday.

Ryan Blaney qualified third in a Ford for Team Penske, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin in a pair of Toyotas.

DARRELL WALTRIP, the Fox Sports analyst who is retiring after 19 years in the booth, kicked off his retirement tour at Bristol, where he won 12 times and has a grandstand named after him.

Waltrip, who once won seven consecutive races at the track from 1981 through 1984, was presented with the gladiator-style sword presently awarded Bristol winners and asked to wave the green flag at the start of Sunday’s race.

INDYCAR: James Hinchcliffe turned in the fastest practice lap at the 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course for Sunday’s race at Birmingham, Alabama, finishing in 1:08.9994. Colton Herta, who turned 19 last week, was second in a time of 1:09.0084, followed by fellow rookie Santino Ferrucci (1:09.0461).

Two-time defending champion Josef Newgarden didn’t get off to a good start in practice, posting the 18th-fastest lap.


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