A tiger was on the prowl Saturday night during qualifying for the 36th All American 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Driving his familiar tiger-striped No. 45, Kodie Conner claimed the pole for Sunday’s crown jewel Super Late Model race after turning a fast lap of 18.432 seconds around the historic 0.596-mile oval.
Conner of Salisbury, North Carolina had never turned a single lap around Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway prior to this weekend. His pole-winning qualifying lap surprised many in attendance, himself included.
“Honestly, I pretty much was (surprised),” Conner admitted. “This is my first time putting stickers on there, so I didn’t have a good idea of what it would be like. I didn’t know what the tires were going to do. Once we got the tires on there, I went out for the first lap and she drove up to the wall. I was kind of thinking I didn’t get enough heat in there. After the second lap, I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve got a pretty good piece here.'”
Throughout Friday and Saturday’s practice sessions, Conner struggled to find the speed he wanted in his Super Late Model. The 2019 PRA Super Late Model champion took swings both at his setup and the way he maneuvered around the race track.
“To be able to come here for my very first time, never being able to see the place before, and to come here and qualify on the pole is a very good confidence booster,” Conner said. “I was a little skeptical in practice; I was struggling a little bit. I couldn’t figure out if I needed to change my line or change the setup a little bit. I was pretty good on my short runs, and luckily qualifying is a short run and not a real long run. I’ve got to see what it’s going to be like for the race. I’ve got 300 laps in the race, which is a long time to figure out what I want to do changing my line up or whatever.
“I’m pretty tickled right now. Probably going to be sleeping really good tonight. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
After spending Friday at Martinsville Speedway competing in the NASCAR Truck Series race, Carson Hocevar made his way to Nashville for qualifying on Saturday. Hocevar held the top spot for much of the qualifying session prior to Conner’s leap to the top of the board.
Chandler Smith, driving for No. 26 Donnie Wilson Motorsports entry qualified third. California native Derek Thorn and former Nashville track champion Willie Allen completed the top five.
The top 20 qualifiers locked in to Sunday’s big show based on their qualifying time. After two provisional for the ARCA/CRA Super Series, ARCA Midwest Tour, CARS Tour and Southern Super Series, the remainder of the cars will go to a last chance race that will qualify four additional drivers.
Complete qualifying results for the 36th All American 400 can be viewed below.
Race fans unable to make it to Nashville for the 36th All American 400 on Sunday will be able to watch a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.TV. Order pay-per-view tickets for the race today by clicking here.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51 Content Manager – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51 / Ryan Nuttleman
36th All American 400 Qualifying Results
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (TN) – October 31, 2020
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