Nationwide qualifying at Chicagoland: death-defying hair-raising fun


When it comes down to qualifying at Chicagoland Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, apparently the fun factor is a matter of taste. Or maybe it depends more on how the car is handling.

Apparently, when your car’s good enough for the pole, it’s pretty fun.

“That was a fun qualifying run,” Ricky Stenhouse Jr. said after posting a 30.523-second lap in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford on Sunday to claim the pole for the STP 300 to be held at Chicagoland Speedway later the same afternoon.

Of the four Dash 4 Cash Chicagoland $100,000 bonus-eligible drivers, three claimed the top three starting spots in qualifying, with Austin Dillon taking the front row starting spot next to Stenhouse, and Sam Hornish Jr. claiming third to start next to Kyle Busch, the only full-time Sprint Cup Series driver competing in this weekend’s Nationwide event.

Elliott Sadler, the fourth Dash driver, qualified 15th.

While qualifying for Stenhouse, and more than likely the other aforementioned drivers, was fun, it didn’t seem like such a fun walk in the park for others, that is unless hair-raising situations in which you cheat death are fun.

“I gave you everything I’ve got,” Kenny Wallace told his crew over the radio after claiming the provisional pole. “I cheated death.”

When Brian Scott took the provisional top spot from Wallace, his sentiments were faily similar.

“It’s hair-raising out there,” Scott said.

Hair raising or death-defying, all qualifying laps turned in Sunday’s session were good for race starting spots, as all who made qualifying attempts made the race, which can be seen live on ESPN, with prerace coverage getting underway at 2 p.m. ET.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR

– Follow me on Twitter @NASCARexaminer

Tags: Chicagoland Speedway NASCAR Nationwide Series Ricky Stenhouse Jr