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Austin Cindric grabs pole for Xfinity Phoenix race

Rick Allen and Steve Letarte preview the final NASCAR Cup Series race of the season, where Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. will fight for the title at Phoenix Raceway.

AVONDALE, Ariz. - Reigning Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric will start on the pole for Saturday night’s title race at Phoenix Raceway.

Cindric, among the four drivers vying for the championship, seeks to win his third consecutive Xfinity race at this 1-mile track.

Cindric won the pole with a lap of 131.902 mph. It is his eighth career series pole.

MORE: Phoenix Xfinity starting lineup

“It’s a great place to start,” Cindric told NBC Sports’ Parker Kligerman. “We’ve got to stay in the game all race.”

He’ll be joined on the front row by John Hunter Nemechek, who ran a lap of 131.372 mph in the No. 54 car for Joe Gibbs Racing that has had multiple drivers this season.

Among the title contenders, Daniel Hemric will start fourth, Noah Gragson sixth and AJ Allmendinger 12th.

Justin Allgaier starts third. Riley Herbst completes the top five. Sixth through 10th are: Brandon Jones, Gragson, Justin Haley, Jeb Burton and Sheldon Creed, who is making his first series start since 2019.

The green flag for the season finale is scheduled to wave at 8:46 p.m. ET on NBCSN.