Sam Hornish Jr. claims Nationwide pole at Chicagoland

Sam Hornish claimed his second-career NASCAR Nationwide Series pole on Sunday with a top lap speed of 178.341 mph at Chicagoland Speedway during pole qualifying for the STP 300 to be held at the track later the same day.

“I like mile-and-a-halves, and I like Chicago, in particular,” Hornish said, soon after making his qualifying attempt.

He’ll be joined on the front row of the starting grid by Elliott Sadler. Sadler turned in the second-fastest qualifying lap, despite not making in qualifying laps in practice.

“We did not do a qualifying run in practice,” Sadler said.

When Sadler made his qualifying run, it was good enough to claim the provisional pole, at the time, with 11 cars left to make qualifying runs. But Hornish’s No. 12 was one of those cars. Also among the final 11 were two Richard Childress Racing entries, the No. 3 of Austin Dillon and the No. 2 of Brian Scott, the car Sadler drove last year.

Dillon, who claimed poles for six of the last eight races heading into Chicago, was third fastest this time around. After qualifying, he reported to his team that the car was “too d*** loose.”

Starting third, Dillon will be the highest starter among those racing for the $100,000 Nationwide Dash 4 Cash bonus. The other three drivers eligible for the bonus at Chicagoland include Brian Vickers, who qualified sixth; Scott, who qualified ninth after having the fastest car in practice; and Michael Annett, who qualified 18th.

Other drivers qualifying in the top-10 include Matt Crafton in fourth, Travis Pastrana in fifth, Joey Logano in seventh, Trevor Bayne eighth and Parker Kligerman 10th.

Forty-one drivers made qualifying attempts to make the 40-car starting grid. The one driver failing to make the race was Tim Schendel, the first driver to make an attempt during the session.

– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR

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Tags: Chicagoland Speedway NASCAR Sam Hornish Jr.

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