With a 50.801-second lap around Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Friday from behind the wheel of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, Trevor Bayne claimed the pole starting spot for Saturday's DRIVE4COPD 300 -- the season opener for the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
“I’m starting to like this stage up here pretty good," Bayne said. "It normally means something good happens, but I’m excited about our pole run. This whole team, I’ve been talking them up all off-season, but that’s because they deserve it. This group of guys, they’ve won two championships in a row and that’s for a reason. Ricky Stenhouse did them a ton of justice and he’s done a great job in that car, but I’m excited to be the guy driving it this year and we’ve started off with a bang here with the pole. It’s not a win yet, but it’s a good start, so we’ll be happy to see that flag flying up on top of the truck here the rest of the season."
Sam Hornish Jr. was second-fastest in qualifying to claim the other front-row starting spot, and Parker Kligerman claimed the third position on the starting grid for Saturday.
“Everything went almost as well as expected or planned," Hornish said. "The car has been great and the guys at Penske Racing have done a really good job over the offseason of building us all new race cars. As soon as we put it on the chassis dyno for the first time and took it to the wind tunnel we knew we had a better piece than what we raced with last year."
Bayne's RFR teammate, Travis Pastrana, qualified fourth. Last year's series Rookie of the Year, Austin Dillon, rounded out the top-five in qualifying.
With 44 drivers attempting to make their ways into the starting field, four drivers were sent home, as Nationwide Series races in 2013 will be run with 40 cars at the start instead of 43.