John Wes Townley earned the pole position on Friday for the Lucas Oil 200 Presented By MAVTV American Real ARCA Racing Series Presented By Menards season-opening event. It was Townley’s career-first pole award in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
“I’m so excited,” Townley said. “It’s great for Venturini Motorsports, and certainly great for Zaxby’s. Tomorrow’s going to be the day that really counts, but it means a lot to be able to come here and get the pole. We just need to come out tomorrow and back it up."
Townley, in the No. 15 Zaxby’s Toyota with Venturini Motorsports, secured the pole with a lap speed of 181.313 mph on the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Townley was also the fastest during Thursday’s rain-shortened practice.
The Lucas Oil 200 Presented By MAVTV American Real on Saturday afternoon will feature 20 ARCA Racing Series drivers experiencing their first competitive laps at Daytona International Speedway.
“You can’t set expectations at Daytona,” added Townley. “One gust of wind and it can throw you off.”
Milka Duno, driver of the No.35 CANTV-Milka Way Toyota, qualified qualified a career-best second with a lap speed of 180.505 mph, sweeping the front row for Venturini Motorsports..
“This is wonderful,” said Duno. “I now have the tools and the right people around me. This is my first race with Venturini Motorsports, and we’re going to do a super job together in the race tomorrow.”
With Townley on the pole and Duno alongside, the stage is set for what could be a couple of firsts at Daytona. For one, Venturini Motorsports, despite winning 26 ARCA races in four different decades, has never won at Daytona. Secondly, no female driver in ARCA history (61 years) has ever won an ARCA race anywhere.
Bobby Gerhart qualified third with a lap speed of 179.842 mph in the No. 5 MAVTV TV American Real Chevrolet. Gerhard holds numerous race records in the ARCA Series at Daytona, including most starts and miles completed. He will be looking to increase his record number of ARCA Daytona victories to nine.
Joe Gibbs Racing Development driver Darrell Wallace, also in a Venturini Motorsports entry, trailed his teammates in fourth. Frenchman Julian Jousse qualified fifth in the David Leiner Racing-Barbarac.fr Toyota.
Clay Campbell, Martinsville Speedway track president, qualified 24th in the No. 08 Mountain Dew Ford tomorrow.
The 50th running of the Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real will run at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, with full television coverage on SPEED. ARCAracing.com will continue to feature live timing and scoring of all the on-track activity Saturday, including final practice and the race to follow.
Following the event, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take center stage with The Sprint Unlimited at 8 p.m. ET. The exciting star-studded event will allow fans to participate in multiple race elements. On-site fans will also have the opportunity to win numerous prizes including participation in driver introductions, Grand Marshal, Honorary Starter and trophy presenter.
Tickets for the Lucas Oil 200 Presented By MAVTV American Real and The Sprint Unlimited, as well as all Budweiser Speedweeks At Daytona events, are available online or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
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