Austin Dillon was among the 20 drivers who bettered the previous track record qualifying speed at the newly-repaved Michigan International Speedway on Saturday to claim the pole for the Alliance Truck Parts 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race to run later in the day.
“It’s been a wild weekend, and a good one too, so far,” Dillon, who’ll also be racing in the Sprint Cup race at the track on Sunday, said.
In all, 20 drivers bettered the previous track record, the first of which being Jason Bowles, who went out about halfway during the qualifying session in the No. 81 MacDonald Motorsports Ford.
Bowles wasn’t fastest for long, though. Justin Allgaier claimed the provisional pole in the No. 31 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet, only to be knocked from the top of the scoring pylon by teammate James Buescher in the No. 30.
Buescher was replaced in the provisional pole spot by the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet of Cole Whitt. Dillon went out last in the sesson and knocked Whitt from the pole. Whitt will start alongside Dillon on the front row.
The top-five starting spots were claimed mostly by Chevrolets, with the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Joey Logano being the only non-Chevrolet to start in the top-five. Logano qualified third.
Buescher was shuffled back to fourth by the end of qualified, and Danica Patrick was fifth in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.
“I think the speeds I was used to doing for seven years (in IndyCar) tempers the feel of doing 200,” Patrick said.
Series points leader, Elliott Sadler, qualified his No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet sixth. Bowles wound up 19th.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR
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