(LONG POND, Pa.) – Kyle Larson will start on the pole for Saturday’s Pocono ARCA 200 after winning the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell Friday afternoon.
Larson, a full-time driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, will make his third career ARCA start.
“Running in the ARCA series is always a lot of fun,” he said. “I got to race in the series at Michigan, which was my first real big track and Daytona last year. There’s a lot of the big tracks in the ARCA series, it seems.”
The race will be broadcast live from Pocono Raceway on Fox Sports 1 at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Larson, in the No. 4 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet, turned his lap at 169.472 mph. Brennan Poole was behind the wheel of the No. 15 Zaxby’s Toyota for Venturini Motorsports and qualified second. He is not expected to be in Saturday’s race, however, as John Wes Townley will most likely be back in the car after fulfilling his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series duties tonight in Texas. Townley would have to start at the back of the field.
Justin Allison, Mason Mitchell and Austin Wayne Self also had top five qualifying times Friday with 10-time series champion Frank Kimmel starting sixth and his nephew, Will Kimmel, starting seventh.
Matt Tifft, point leader Grant Enfinger and Cody Coughlin round out the top 10 starters. Tifft and Coughlin are 17-year-olds who are allowed to race at Pocono despite it being a superspeedway because they tested Wednesday and received ARCA approval.
Allison, in the No. 88 HaVaCoSales.com Ford, said he is looking forward to racing against Larson – and everybody.
“We’ve been fast all week,” he said. “Our team put a lot of work and effort into that car.
“I just want to go out and out run him,” Allison said about racing against a NASCAR driver. “But, it’s not because of him, it’s because I want to go out and out-run everybody.”
Mitchell said he thought he would be faster in qualifying in the No. 98 Musselman’s-Florida Wildlife Foundation-TTS Ford.
“I think we have a real good car in race setup,” the 19-year-old said. “I thought we would be a little faster in qualifying. I think I left a little out there.”
Justin Boston spun and made contact with the wall during his qualifying lap in the No. 25 ZLOOP Toyota. His Venturini crew elected to fix the car instead of going to a backup machine. The No. 3 of Karl Weber had to change motors after practice while the cars of Spencer Gallagher and Cody Coughlin are in backup cars after practice crashes.
Larson said that his Ganassi team wanted him in the ARCA race this weekend to aid him in getting more seat time at the “Tricky Triangle”.
“That’s why we are here,” he said. “The ARCA car is really smooth in all of the turns, really. I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
– By Doug Donnelly, ARCA Racing. Photo credit: ARCA Racing