Chase Elliott on pole for Southern Super Series/ CRA All-American 400

Geoff Burke

Chase Elliott will lead the field to the green flag in the 300-lap Super Late Model race at Gresham Motorsports Park.

NASHVILLE -- Chase Elliott captured the pole for the 29th All-American 400 Super Late Model race on Saturday afternoon, pacing the combined Southern Super Series/ CRA field with a best time of 18.515 around the .6 mile Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.

The race is considered one of the top events on the Super Late Model schedule and the pole award is one of the more sought after prizes in the short track world.

With the pole, Elliott is hoping to avoid some of the early crashes that typically plague the All-American 400. That's something he was able to do last month in the Winchester 400, translating a number one starting spot into a runner-up finish -- to Erik Jones -- in south Indiana.

"I hope there aren't any wrecks," Elliott told SB Nation. "But I don't know. You can't predict how it's going to go. But that's why we're here -- to see how it is.

"With the number of tires you get, you're only going to be making a few pit stops so I don't think we're going to get shuffled to the back like we do in the Snowball Derby or at Winchester. So I could be wrong about that but we'll play it by ear."

The Southern Super Series championship leaders were separated by 17 spots in qualifying with Bubba Pollard outpacing Daniel Hemric by 16 spots.

Time trials increased Pollard's championship lead to 53 with just 100 points remaining on the table. Pollard now has to finish just 18th or better to capture the championship -- not that it's any consolation to the Georgia-native.

"Man, I'm nervous," Pollard said with a grin. "I've never gone championship racing before. I don't even know how to points race. But let me tell you, this Southern Super Series championship is a big deal. To be the first one is real important to me because I think it's going to be a big deal someday.

"I'm hoping we can grow this deal and get the purses up but I want to be the first champion like you can't imagine."

Hemric recognizes the challenge that lies in front of him but he isn't going to let the challenge distract him from the primary goal of winning the race.

"We're just going out there to try and win the race," Hemric said. "If we can do that, hopefully everything else will sort itself out."

The starting lineup can be found below.

  1. Chase Elliott
  2. Hunter Robbins
  3. Donnie Wilson
  4. Erik Jones
  5. TJ Reaid
  6. Stephen Nasse
  7. Cody Coughlin
  8. Bubba Pollard
  9. Spencer Davis
  10. Mike Garvey
  11. Johnny VanDoorn
  12. Eddie Hoffman
  13. Chad Finley
  14. Mason Mingus
  15. Preston Peltier
  16. Austin Theriault
  17. Kyle Benjamin
  18. Augie Grill
  19. Willie Allen
  20. Anderson Bowen
  21. Casey Roderick
  22. Johnny Brazier
  23. Dennis Schoenfeld
  24. Ross Kenseth
  25. Daniel Hemric
  26. Michael House
  27. John Hunter Nemechek
  28. Stacey Crain
  29. Eddie Van Meter
  30. Mark Kraus
  31. Allen Karnes
  32. Trey Mitchell
  33. Jordan Sims
  34. Tyler Speer
  35. Joseph Meyer
  36. Lonnie Sommerville

Complete All-American 400 coverage can be found on SB Nation's Ranting and Raving Short Track Blog.

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