With Kyle Busch in Long Pond, Pa., this weekend, tending to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing obligations at Pocono Raceway, Drew Herring climbed into the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing entry in the Nationwide Series at Iowa Speedway in Newton on Saturday and made a lap around the track in 23.270 secoinds with an average speed of 135.367 mph to claim the pole for the U.S. Cellular 250 to be held at the track later Saturday evening. It’s his first-career series pole. Herring was the only driver at Iowa to turn in a lap average speed surpassing the 135 mph threshold during qualifying.
Regan Smith qualified second to start alongside Herring on the front row. Nationwide rookie driver Alex Bowman qualified third and will share the second row with Brian Scott. Brad Keselowski, the only Sprint Cup Series regular at Iowa Speedway for the Nationwide race, rounded out the top-five in qualifying.
Keselowski sat on the provisional pole for a time before being knocked from the top of the scoring pylon by Smith. Smith remained on top until Herring went out late in the session and grabbed the provisional, and then official, pole.
Qualifying sixth through 10th were Brian Vickers, Trevor Bayne, Austin Dillon, Justin Allgaier and Elliott Sadler.
Forty drivers/cars made qualifying attempts to claim the 40 available spots on the starting grid.