NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Travis Pastrana accomplished a first for both himself and car owner Jack Roush with a 54.255-second lap around Talladega during pole qualifying on Friday for Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 at the track. He nabbed his first-career Nationwide Series pole for his 17th-career series start and the first pole for Roush Fenway Racing in Nationwide Series competition at Talladega.
“I’m still a newcomer to restrictor plate races, but I know I will have a great car,” Pastrana said.
According to Pastrana, winning the pole was a “dream come true.”
“It sounds like a dream come true,” Pastrana said. “Bringing the guys to the line at the green flag at Talladega is awesome, so I’m definitely excited. I mean, this Roush Fenway team has worked so hard. Chad (Norris), my crew chief, he’s like, ‘We’ve been putting everything together. Let’s go out there and get this thing.’ He had a lot of confidence in myself and the car and it’s just awesome to be able to show the work these guys are putting together and I’m definitely really happy to be here.”
Roush will have two cars starting in the top-three come Saturday, as Pastrana’s teammate, Trevor Bayne, qualified third.
Austin Dillon posted the second-fastest lap in qualifying to start on the front row, alongside Pastrana.
After being knocked from the provisional pole by Pastrana, Danica Patrick slid to fourth by the end of the qualifying session. Her Turner Scott Motorsports teammate, Justin Allgaier, rounded out the top-five.
“I really enjoy racing at the superspeedways, and Turner Scott Motorsports has a great superspeedway package,” Patrick said. “We had a great run going in Daytona, and I’m hoping we can pick up where we left off.”
Qualifying sixth through 10th were Sam Hornish Jr., Elliott Sadler, Brian Scott, Kurt Busch and John Wes Townley.
Tim Andrews and Stanton Barrett failed to make the race.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR