Metcalf Claims Old Milwaukee Pole For "Channel 5-155"
John Metcalf, the third-oldest driver in the field at 54-years-old, beat out 40 other drivers to claim the Old Milwaukee Pole Award for the inaugural ARCA RE/MAX Series "Channel 5 155" today at Kentucky Speedway.
Metcalf qualified on the inside of Row One with a lap of 167.059 mph in 32.324 seconds in his No. 05 RE/MAX International Chevrolet. "The Channel 5-155" will mark Metcalf's second start of 2002 and his third career start at Kentucky Speedway.
"This is what hard work is all about, it's real gratifying, not just for me but for the rest of the team," Metcalf said. "The RE/MAX Chevrolet wasn't real good when we got here. We were close, but we weren't real happy with it," Metcalf said. "My crew chief and I talked, made a number of changes during practice, and we just kept getting better and better. We'll have to keep it in front all night tomorrow."
Starting from the front has been good to ARCA drivers at Kentucky Speedway. Frank Kimmel won both "The Blue Grass Quality Meats 200" and "The Kentucky 150" races from the pole at Kentucky last year, and Ryan Newman won from the pole in the first "Blue Grass Quality Meats 200" during Kentucky Speedway's first season.
Last year, Metcalf was second in August's Blue Grass Quality Meats 200 after starting fifth. He also scored a top-10 at Kentucky last May when he started ninth and finished ninth.
Kimmel landed his No. 46 Advance Auto Parts Pork the Other White Meat Ford on the outside of Row One after turning a lap in 32.419 seconds for a speed of 166.569 mph.
"We went out real early in the qualifying and were four-tenths of a second faster, so we were conservative," Kimmel said. "We'll slow down a little bit to a mid to low 33's for the race. This is a familiar course but it is very different (today). We know the shape of the course and the grooves are the same, but the surface is very different. I am sure the new asphalt will change tomorrow night for the race."
Kentucky Speedway laid a new asphalt surface in April.
Series young gun Chad Blount will lead the second row after turning his best qualifying lap at 165.593 mph in the No. 77 Braun Auto Group Dodge. He is joined by veteran Vern Slagh who qualified fourth with a lap of 164.760 mph.
Current ARCA RE/MAX Series points leader Damon Lusk qualified his No. 22 Dynatek-One Race America Chevrolet in seventh position with a lap of 167.059 mph in 32.974 seconds.
Kentucky Speedway opens its 2002 season this evening at 8:00 p.m., with "The Auto Body Panels Short Track Special" which will showcase USAC National Midget Car Series, ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series and Baby Grand Series racing on the speedway's paved quarter-mile track.
Race action continues Saturday, May 11, at 8:00 p.m., when the ARCA RE/MAX Series takes the green flag for the inaugural "Channel 5-155." Gates open at 3:00 p.m., and the evening will feature a concert by country singer Chely Wright. Tickets are still available for both days of family fun and entertainment. Fans can phone 888-652-RACE or visit www.kentuckyspeedway.com for ticket information.