NASCAR Cup Series driver Christopher Bell (20) during practice for the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday offered a rare chance for many Americans to see a solar eclipse. It also had some very unique impacts, including one in the NASCAR world.

Known as a “ring of fire” eclipse, the annual event darkened skies and blocked the sun above much of the country, including Las Vegas, where Sunday’s NASCAR race will take place.

Christopher Bell will be the one to lead the Cup Series field to the green flag at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after claiming pole position on Saturday.

Bell won the pole with a lap of 186.335 mph and according to him, there’s a chance that the eclipse helped him get a little bit more speed.

“Odd note that will probably never be repeated in NASCAR history: Christopher Bell says the eclipse made the track temperature lower during practice,” said NASCAR reporter Jeff Gluck on X.

“It was flatlined,” Bell told NBC Sports’ Dave Burns. “I never lifted all the way around. So (Kyle Larson) didn’t either though. So it comes down to horsepower, I guess, and these TRD Camrys have got plenty of horsepower.”

Whatever the cause, we’re sure Bell isn’t going to argue with the results.

Larson will start second, William Byron be third, and Martin Truex Jr. and Chris Buescher will complete the top five. Chase Elliott and Daniel Suarez will start at the end of the pack after dealing with tire-related issues.

Sunday’s race in Las Vegas is scheduled to begin at 2:50 p.m. ET.

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to