KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Seeking his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victory in two years, Matt Crafton stormed to the pole during qualifying for Friday night’s Digital Ally 250 at Kansas Speedway.
Crafton turned a fast lap of 30.459 seconds (177.288 mph) around the 1.5-mile oval with his No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Ford F-150, earning his 14th career pole and first since Michigan Int’l Speedway in 2017.
The 42-year-old Tulare, Calif., veteran won at Kansas in 2013 and 2015, and he hopes that Friday’s qualifying effort is a sign that ThorSport Racing’s mile-and-a-half program is back where it needs to be.
“These guys have been working really hard back at the shop, and this feels good,” Crafton noted. “Our intermediate-track program went in the tank the last two years, to where we weren’t even making the last round (of qualifying) at some of these places. It just shows how far we’ve come as a group and that we’re putting the right foot forward again.
“This Menards Ford F-150 is pretty fast, I think, and I feel like we’ll have something in this race tonight.”
Ankrum, who recently turned 18, earned his best-career start and will roll off alongside Crafton on the front row after a lap of 30.472 seconds (177.212 mph) with his No. 17 Mays Hawaii Toyota Tundra.
“I’ve ran at Texas and Dover, and those are really fast tracks, but I’m still only four races into this thing and it’s still scary at times,” Ankrum admitted after his lap. “When you get down into the corner, you don’t realize how much the truck is shaking sometimes and how tough it actually is (to stay wide open). I had a ton of fun, though. The DGR-Crosley guys brought me a fantastic truck and I think we can have a really good drive tonight. I feel good about it.”
Harrison Burton will start third (30.487/177.125) for Kyle Busch Motorsports in a Toyota Tundra, while defending Truck Series champion Brett Moffitt rolls off fourth (30.510/176.991) for GMS Racing in a Chevrolet Silverado.
Burton’s teammate, Todd Gilliland, completed the top five ahead of Ross Chastain, Austin Hill, Gus Dean, Sheldon Creed and Stewart Friesen.
Though a Kansas Truck Series race has never been won from outside the top 10, several heavy hitters will look to change that Friday night.
Dover winner Johnny Sauter starts 12th, while points leader Grant Enfinger (13th), Ben Rhodes (14th) and Tyler Dippel (17th) will also be likely contenders when the green flag waves.
Bayley Currey aborted his qualifying run due to an apparent engine issue, while Jennifer Jo Cobb’s truck stepped out on her in turn three on her lap, leading to her backing the truck into the outside wall.
Cobb drove her truck back to pit road, but she will utilize a backup truck for the race Friday night.
To view complete qualifying results, advance to the next page.