A.J. Allmendinger may not have a lot of experience when it comes to NASCAR Nationwide Series racing. He has fewer than 10-career starts in the series under his belt and hadn’t been in a Nationwide car since 2008 prior to climbing in the No. 22 Penske Racing Ford this weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Still, Allmendinger, a.k.a. “The Dinger,” turned in a lap time of 133.410 seconds during qualifying on Saturday for the Johnsonville Sausage 200 to claim his first-career pole in the series.
When the race takes the green flag shortly after 4 p.m. local (5 p.m. ET) on Saturday, Allmendinger will be joined on the front row by the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Toyota of Owen Kelly. Both front row drivers were among the eight drivers in the fifth and final group to hit the track during qualifying. For road course races, the Nationwide Series utilizes a qualifying format in which a group of cars are on track at a time and have a specified amount of time to try to post the fastest lap they can.
Before the final group went out, Parker Kligerman was on the provisional pole. At the end of qualifying, Kligerman was third, the highest of any series regular. Justin Allgaier and Michael McDowell (No. 18) qualified fourth and fifth.
Below, is the full starting grid:
Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR