Jon McKennedy topped a strong field of 38 Modifieds during NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour qualifying for the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 Saturday morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The driver from Chelmsford, Massachusetts turned a fast lap of 28.864 seconds around The Magic Mile to score his first career NWMT pole award.
“I’ve had a lot of good qualifying runs but could never get that pole,” McKennedy said after qualifying. “A lot of top fives, but we’re finally able to get it today here at one of the biggest shows of the year. It’s awesome. Tommy [Baldwin] gave me a great car, hopefully we can finish it off with a big win today.”
McKennedy has won a total of six championships across three different touring series – four titles in the Modified Racing Series, one in the Tri-Track Open Modified Series, and one in an ISMA Supermodified. But despite all this success in other series, he still sees the NWMT’s annual visits to NHMS to be one of the biggest prizes in modified racing.
“It would be huge,” McKennedy said. “This is probably one of the biggest races for all the New Englanders to be a part of. I’ve won a lot of races, a lot of championships in all different touring series, but this would be definitely one of the biggest.”
McKennedy won at Myrtle Beach last season, his only career Modified Tour victory to date. This pole comes off the back of a strong fourth-place showing in the All-Star Shootout on Friday, and McKennedy is cautiously optimistic about his chances in the main event on Saturday afternoon.
“We’ll see what happens,” McKennedy said. “We’ve got 40 cars here, and most of the field are very talented drivers with great experience and great equipment, so you need the whole package and just have to make the most of it.”
McKennedy will lead the field to green in the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 at 1:45pm Saturday afternoon.
Fans can keep up with the on-track action with Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage presented by PFC Brakes.
-Story by: Ian Pettigrew, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com