NASCAR: Cole Custer on pole for Truck Series at N.H.

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The battle for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship may be in for a twist today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

ThorSport Racing teammates Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter are the top two in the standings with Crafton holding a five-point edge. But neither of them advanced out of the first round of qualifying for this afternoon’s UNOH 175.

Sauter was only able to qualify 18th, while Crafton, the defending Truck Series champion, didn’t post a lap at all. An electrical issue on his No. 88 Toyota Tundra forced his team to raise the hood, ending their session early.

Meanwhile, their closest pursuers in the championship qualified farther up and got critical track position for the start of today’s event.

Ryan Blaney (-16 points behind Crafton) and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, Jr. (-35 points behind Crafton) will both be starting on the second row – Wallace on the inside and Blaney on the outside.

But in front of them at the green flag will be pole sitter Cole Custer and Cameron Hayley.

The 16-year-old Custer collected his second career series pole for just his seventh career series start with a track-record lap of 131.897 mph. Hayley settled for second on the grid following a lap of 131.642 mph.

“The first run, it was so cold out that we couldn’t get the tires to come up [in temperature] and I almost wrecked on my out-to-go lap, but we got it better,” Custer told Fox Sports. “It was a whole team effort to get better, and we were able to get the pole.”

Brennan Newberry and Tyler Reddick will line up in Row 3, followed by Erik Jones and Timothy Peters in Row 4, then Joey Coulter and John Hunter Nemechek in Row 5.

The green flag for today’s UNOH 175 is expected to wave shortly after 1 p.m. ET (check local listings).

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES AT NEW HAMPSHIRE – Starting Lineup