Truex, whose No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, had not shown to be particularly fast in Saturday’s practice session, rocketed to the top of the final round of qualifying with an average lap speed of 169.409 mph.
Brad Keselowski, who had posted the fastest lap of the day in the first round, was the final car to make a qualifying attempt. However, he only ended up 10th fastest among the 10 cars in the final round.
The pole is the first of the 2023 season for Truex, first at Darlington and 21st of his career.
“Honestly, the guys made a really good adjustment. I felt like we left a little on the table in Round 1,” Truex said. “They made the adjustment to help me off (Turn) 4 and it worked. I was not really sure what kind of lap time we were going to need to run or how the tires would affect it, but we nailed the balance really good.
“I was definitely really happy with that. The guys have been working really hard. Qualifying has never really been our greatest thing. Especially with this (Next Gen) car last year, we struggled a lot in qualifying. We’ve been working hard on it.
“This (car) is really fast so we’ll have some fun tomorrow.”
Bubba Wallace ended up second-fastest (169.339 mph) as Toyotas locked in the front row.
They were followed by three Chevrolets – Ricky Stenhouse Jr., William Byron and Ross Chastain – in the top five.
Completing the top-10 lineup are Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Tyler Reddick and Keselowski.
Round 1 / Group A
Wallace ended up with the fastest average speed in Group A (169.083 mph).
Chastain was second-fastest (168.920 mph) and Reddick was third (168.717 mph).
Also advancing to the final round were Stenhouse and Byron.
Among those who failed to advance were Chase Elliott – who was fastest in Saturday’s practice sessions, Austin Dillon and Michael McDowell.
Corey LaJoie tagged the wall on his qualifying run but did not appear to do serious damage to his No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.
Round 1 / Group B
Keselowski set a blistering pace in Group B with an average lap speed of 170.324 mph – the fastest lap of the day at the time.
Truex was second-fastest (169.918 mph) and Suarez was third (169.889 mph).
Also advancing to the final round were Hamlin and Larson.
Among those who failed to advance were Kyle Busch, Ty Gibbs, Ryan Blaney and Kevin Harvick.
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