Thorn Wins Surprise Showdown Pole

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Derek Thorn claimed the pole for Saturday night's Toyota All-Star Showdown. (Todd Warshaw/Getty Images photo)
Derek Thorn claimed the pole for Saturday night's Toyota All-Star Showdown. (Todd Warshaw/Getty Images photo)

IRWINDALE, Calif. — Derek Thorn was the surprise winner of the Coors Light Pole Award Friday at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.) for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.

Thorn, from Lakeport, Calif., piloted the No. 44 4 Star Fruit/Superior Crankshaft Chevrolet to a fast lap of 18.334 seconds (98.178 miles per hour) to best a stacked field of 46 entrants. His only previous K&N Pro Series experience came in 2008 with six starts in the East.

An Irwindale veteran, Greg Pursley was second-fastest on the half mile with a quick circuit of 18.405. Past Showdown pole winner Sean Caisse qualified third.

Brennan Newberry, Michael Self, Max Gresham, Jason Fensler, Andrew Ranger, Jason Bowles and David Mayhew rounded out the top 10.

NASCAR Nationwide Series regular Steve Wallace qualified 16th and action sports star Travis Pastrana, making his NASCAR debut, was 20th.

Veteran Dale Quarterley took the checkered flag in the last event Friday night in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series 50-lap Last Chance Open. The race determined out the final six cars in Saturday’s 40-car field.

Quarterley, from Westfield, Mass., qualified 33rd in time trials earlier in the day, and had to race his way into the 225-lap feature. He started fourth in the last-chance qualifying race, but shot a gap left first row starters Johnny Borneman and Chad Boat, and led all 50 circuits.

Boat finished second, followed by Borneman, Ryan Philpott and Lucas Lasserre. Cole Cabrera crossed the line sixth to earn the 40th and last starting position for Saturday night.