Brandon Jones claims first XFINITY Series pole at Daytona

Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

DAYTONA BEACH- Fla. – Brandon Jones’ first race of 2017 will begin at the front of the NASCAR XFINITY Series field after the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) driver surged to his first-ever pole.

Jones, 20, took the top spot for Saturday’s PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway with a 184.472-mph circuit in his No. 33 Chevrolet around the 2.5-mile oval. The Georgian joins Camping World Truck Series regular Kaz Grala as drivers on the weekend who’ve earned their first-career poles.

Ryan Reed ended the session in second, with Brennan Poole, Daniel Hemric and Ty Dillon rounding out the top five. Brad Keselowski, Tyler Reddick, Blake Koch, Kasey Kahne and Spencer Gallagher completing the top 10. Elliott Sadler and Darrell Wallace, Jr., finished out the final round.

The first qualifying session of the season was a rare misstep for Toyota, as the manufacturer failed to put a single car in the final round. The company’s fastest qualifier was Matt Tifft, who slotted in 14th.

While Jones surged to the pole, RCR teammate Austin Dillon faced controversy. The elder Dillon brother was forced to postpone his qualifying attempt by a few minutes when his No. 2 Chevrolet’s tires were observed with an unknown substance on it.

Dillon’s tires were confiscated, and the 2013 XFINITY series champion was docked a set of tires for the race, but he was able to make a qualifying attempt after his team replaced the tires within the five-minute allowance. Dillon slotted in 16th.

Morgan Shepherd, Mike Harmon, Stephen Leicht and Mark Thompson failed to qualify for the event.

Coverage for the PowerShares QQQ 300 is slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Results, via NASCAR

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