ARCA RE/MAX Series racer Michael McDowell placed his No. 2 Z-Line-Make-A-Wish-Beck Dodge on the pole for tonight's "Buckle-Up Kentucky 150" at Kentucky Speedway with a 175.884-mph (30.702 seconds) qualifying effort.

The Phoenix, Ariz., driver earns his first Kentucky Speedway pole award with the third-quickest of 14 all-time series qualifying runs at the track. McDowell has now earned the pole award for two straight and three of past four series events. He will start tonight's race ranked sixth in the series standings and 145 points behind series leader Frank Kimmel (No. 46 Tri-State Motorsports-Pork Ford) after collecting one top-five and two top-10 finishes through six series starts this season.

McDowell will share the "Buckle-Up Kentucky 150" front row with teammate Ken Butler III (No. 22 ESR Development Team -NAPA Toyota), who posted a 175.758-mph (30.724 seconds) qualifying lap. Both entries are backed by team owner Eddie Sharp.

"This morning we didn't do a qualifying run. At a big 1.5-mile track like Kentucky Speedway you can pick up a fair amount of time by taping off and running a set of new tires. We worked a lot on race runs and weren't that concerned about qualifying. The fact that we got the pole is a little surprising because we didn't focus on qualifying as much," McDowell said. "We've been really good on the short tracks and we got two poles at Salem (Ind.) and Winchester (Ind.), but unfortunately the races haven't gone our way. We worked really hard on the race set up here, so, hopefully, we'll be good for the long haul. It's great for the team to come out and show that we have some speed because we've been labeled a 'short-track team'. "This is the best field ARCA's ever had, and, for us to come out here without a $25 million budget for our ARCA/Nextel program, that's the great thing about being on the pole tonight. It's awesome for Eddie Sharp and the team to show the little guy can prevail sometimes."

Phillip McGilton (No. 47 Midwest Equipment Ford) qualified third with a 175.604-mph (30.751 seconds) run and will share the second row with Bobby Santos III (No. 02 Bill Davis Trucking Toyota) following his quick 175.598-mph (30.752 seconds) qualifying lap. Kimmel, the current series championship leader who is in search of his fifth Kentucky Speedway win tonight, qualified ninth with a 173.947-mph (31.004 seconds) lap.

The 40-car "Buckle-Up Kentucky 150" field will take the green flag at 8:00 p.m.

ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series "Kentucky 100" Update: Nick Gullatta backed up his practice-leading ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series lap by winning the pole award for the "Kentucky 100 " with a 61.220-mph (14.701 seconds) lap.

Gullatta will start the "Kentucky 100" from the 10th position following the series mandatory automatic field inversion, which changed positions for a total of 10 drivers. The total number of drivers inverted in the field was determined by a dice roll.

"The truck is running pretty good. We're going to have tighten it up before the race," Gullatta said. "We just missed the set up, but we feel pretty confident because we led a few laps of this race last year.

"The truck's a little free now, which is a good set-up for qualifying, so we'll just have to make some adjustments for the race. The crew's been non-stop since we scattered the motor in the first race (of the season) in Anderson (Ind.), but with some help from a new sponsor, we're in a good position.

"With the invert, it's almost like being penalized. But, that's the way it goes and it's the same for everybody. We'll just have to put ourselves in a position to get back up front."

John Kasmierski (No. 3 Carpenters Local 1138 Chevrolet) turned the second-best qualifying effort with a 60.815 mph (14.799 seconds) lap, Steve Christman (No. 34 Shrader Tire & Oil Chevrolet) qualified third following his 60.565-mph (14.860 seconds) lap, Paul Hahn (No. 7 Hahn's Group / Fox Auto Parts / Howe Racing Chevrolet) was fourth on the qualifying chart following his 60.500-mph (14.876 mph) and current series leader Steve Cronenwett (No. 18 Hydro Technology Chevrolet) placed fifth with a 60.084-mph (14.979 seconds) lap.

Duane Bischoff (No. 15 Gamco Concrete Forms-Hoosier Foreign Auto Service Ford), who qualified with a 59.094-mph (15.230 seconds) lap, will share the front row with Mike Young (No. 23 Dave White Chevrolet), who delivered his best qualifying effort at 59.098-mph (15.229 seconds).

Story by Mike Schmaltz

~ Kentucky Speedway ~