Hornish Jr. Races to First NASCAR Nationwide Series Kentucky Speedway Pole Award
SPARTA, Ky. - NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) championship leader Sam Hornish Jr., took the pole position for tonight's Kentucky 300 at Kentucky Speedway with a quick 179.235 mph (30.128 seconds) lap.
The Defiance, Ohio Penske Racing driver used the third-fastest pole winning lap in series track history to earn his first Kentucky NNS pole and wrestle the provisional pole away from NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) regular Ryan Blaney, who went out just two spots ahead of Hornish Jr.
"You can win from anywhere, but having the opportunity to be on the pole means you have a pretty fast racecar. It leads you to feel pretty good about your opportunities for the race.
"We didn't get an opportunity to practice qualifying runs. I'm pretty happy with how well we showed today," Hornish Jr., said.
The driver who claimed Kentucky Speedway IndyCar Series victories in 2003 and 2006, pocketed his third NNS pole award of the season and the fourth in his 93-race NNS career.
Rounding out the top-10 in the session were two-time NNS winner and current second-place championship driver Austin Dillon, Brian Scott (seventh in the standings), NCWTS veteran Matt Crafton, Joey Coulter, Drew Herring, Travis Pastrana, Justin Allgaier (sixth in the series standings) and Brian Vickers (fifth in the series standings).
Based on past races on the challenging Kentucky Speedway 1.5-mile tri-oval, qualifying position is one of the keys to success. In 14 previous NNS races at the track, winners have had an average starting position of 4.2.
The NNS Kentucky 300 is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start. ARCA Series championship leader and four-time Kentucky Speedway race winner Frank Kimmel, of nearby Clarksville, Ind., will serve as the race grand marshal.
- Kentucky Speedway -