Sam Hornish Jr. claimed his second-consecutive Watkins Glen pole on Saturday morning during qualifying for the Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race to be held at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) later in the day. His fast lap of 1:11.54 was also a new track qualifying record.
“We really didn’t get out of it what we thought we could get out of it yesterday (during a mock qualifying run in Friday’s practice),” Hornish said. “But had a good lap today.”
Penske Racing has three Fords entered in Saturday’s Nationwide race at The Glen, and all three of them qualified in the top-five, with Hornish’s No. 12 on the pole, Joey Logano’s No. 48 in third and the No. 22 of Brad Keselowski in fifth. Also qualifying in the top-five were Kyle Busch in second and Regan Smith in fourth.
For road course qualifying, the 40 cars entered were divided into seven groups with the slowest cars in Friday’s practice hitting the track for qualifying first in the first group and the fastest cars from practice going out for qualifying in the seventh and final group.
With each group came a new provisional pole sitter. Jeff Green was the fastest in group one and held the top spot until Bryan Silas from group two took the provisional pole. Kyle Kelley, driving the No. 87 normally driven by Joe Nemechek, went out in group three and claimed the provisional top spot.
Series regular Kyle Larson went out in group four and made it to the top of the scoring pylon before being knocked from the top spot from fifth-group runner Nelson Piquet Jr. Logano, who went out in group six, then moved to the top. With only four cars going in the last group, Logano’s fastest lap time held up for third, only being beaten by teammate Hornish and Busch.
“I think in the bust stop, I made a little mistake and gave up maybe a tenth,” Logano said. “Not enough to beat Sam, though.”
Starting sixth through 10th on Saturday afternoon will be Justin Allgaier, Piquet, Brian Vickers, Parker Kligerman and Brian Scott.
Just 40 cars entered, the exact number needed for a full Nationwide Series race field, so everyone on hand garnered a spot on the starting grid.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR