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Homestead Xfinity starting lineup: Cole Custer wins pole; Dale Jr. qualifies 23rd

Homestead Xfinity starting lineup: Cole Custer wins pole; Dale Jr. qualifies 23rd

HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Cole Custer won the pole for Saturday’s Xfinity Series playoff race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Saturday’s race is the middle event in the Round of 8. No driver has yet clinched a spot in next month’s Xfinity championship race.

MORE: Hard work pays off for Las Vegas winner Riley Herbst

MORE: Homestead starting lineup

Custer, a playoff driver, earned the pole with a lap of 165.604 mph. He will be joined on the front row by John Hunter Nemechek, also a playoff driver. Nemechek qualified at 164.704 mph.

“I think we’re bringing our best racecars to the track and it’s exciting,” Custer said.

The top five starters are all playoff drivers. Justin Allgaier (164.194 mph) will start third. Austin Hill (163.934) qualified fourth. Rookie Sammy Smith (163.537) qualified fifth.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., making his second series start this season, qualified 23rd.

“Lot of mistakes,” Earnhardt told NBC Sports’ Kim Coon after his qualifying lap. “The car is pretty good. Every lap I make a bundle of mistakes that I’ll clean up in the race or try to clean up in the race.”

Also qualifying for Saturday’s race is Ryan Newman. He’ll start 24th.

Failing to qualify were Matt Mills, JJ Yeley and Natalie Decker.

The Round of 8 Xfinity Series playoff race takes place at 3 p.m. ET Saturday on USA Network. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on USA.

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