TOLEDO, Ohio – Kyle Benjamin became the youngest Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell winner in ARCA Racing Series history Saturday, winning the pole for Sunday’s Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care.
Benjamin turned a blistering lap that was just shy of the Toledo Speedway qualifying record.
“It was smooth,” Benjamin. “I wasn’t expecting that.”
Benjamin, 15, will start on the front row Sunday in his The Truth Band-Renton Coil Spring Chevrolet owned by Venturini Motorsports, in next to NASCAR veteran Kenny Schrader, driving the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet.
Benjamin will be making his third career ARCA Racing Series start. The Easley, S.C. resident is now the youngest pole winner in series history, a distinction previously held by Erik Jones, now a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver.
“We have a really good racecar,” Benjamin said. “I didn’t think the qualifying would go that good. I was thinking we could run a .90 (15.90), but when they came on and said it .80 (15.872), it was really cool.”
Mason Mingus, in the WinTron Racing Diamond Equipment 811-Call Before You Dig Chevrolet, will start third, Frank Kimmel in the Menards Ansell Toyota fourth and Tom Hessert, in the Cunningham Motorsports Barbera’s Autoland Dodge fifth.
Hessert is the most recent short track winner on the ARCA Racing Circuit, having won at Salem Speedway last month.
Kimmel, Mingus and Hessert are the top three in the ARCA Racing Series point standings entering the Toledo Speedway event and all start in the top five.
Two cars – the 16 of Kelly Kovski and the 91 of Robert Bujdoso – crashed during practice and crews were working on the cars as qualifying continued.