DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Dylan Kwasniewski will start on the pole for Saturday’s Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real after his AccuSolutions Chevrolet won the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell Friday afternoon.
Kwasniewski’s car made it through a post-qualifying technical inspection by ARCA officials. However, four of the fastest 10 cars through qualifying had times disallowed by series officials and a fifth car was disqualified. The starting lineup was set, then, based on the qualifying speeds and provisionals.
Grant Enfinger will start second in his No. 90 Motor Honey-Casite-Advance Auto Parts Ford, Buster Graham third in the No. 99 Hewes Concrete Polishing-Roulo Brothers Racing Ford, Mark Thompson fourth in the Phoenix Air Toyota and Chase Elliott fifth in the Hendrickcars.com-NAPA Brakes Chevrolet.
Mason Mitchell, in his first race with the newly-formed Mason Mitchell Motorsports, will start sixth for the Lucas Oil 200, which will air live at 4:30 p.m. Saturday on Fox Sports 1. The 80-lap, 200-mile race will be ARCA’s 51st at Daytona Int’l Speedway, a tradition that dates back to 1964.
For Kwasniewski, it’s his second pole in as many races. He won the pole for the final race of the 2013 ARCA Racing Series at Kansas Speedway.
“Turner Scott Motorsports obviously gave me a great car and the ability to start up front,” Kwasniewski (pronounced Kwaz-ness-ki) said. “All I have to do tomorrow is do the best I can. I’m really excited.
“Starting on the front row at Daytona is great. Not many people get to say they’ve done that.”
Elliott, the youngest superspeedway winner in ARCA Racing Series history, will be making his first start at Daytona, just like Kwasniewski.
“I’ll just play it by ear,” Elliott said of getting up on the wheel at the 2.5-mile “World Center of Racing” track. “I’m sure it will be wild.”
Kwasniewski said remaining confident is a key.
“You have to be confident that you know what you are doing when you are out there,” he said. “Just to be at Daytona at 18 is pretty crazy.”
Several series veterans will be in the field, including 10-time series champion Frank Kimmel, starting 16th in the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota. Kimmel is trying for his first win in more than 20 starts at Daytona. Cunningham Motorsports driver Tom Hessert, in the CAREGARD-AxiomWarranty.com Dodge, is starting seventh. Clay Campbell, president of Martinsville Speedway racing for Ken Schrader Racing in the Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet, will start in the 15th spot.
Others in the field include Jeb Burton in the ThorSport No. 13 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Toyota. He was one of the favorites for the championship in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series until sponsorship issues caused a change in his 2014 plans. He’s one of several drivers pulling double duty during Budweiser Speedweeks. He will also race in the NASCAR truck series with ThorSport.
Elliott and Kwasniewski, both 18, are entered in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race next weekend and will use the ARCA race to gain seat time and win NASCAR approval to race in that series.
The final qualifying result report and starting grid was delayed for about two hours after qualifying ended due to post-qualifying technical inspections. The two-lap speeds recorded by Bobby Gerhart, Leilani Munter, Justin Boston, Tyler Reddick and Spencer Gallagher were disallowed by series officials. Gerhart, an eight-time winner of the ARCA Daytona 200, had won the provisional pole.
Gerhart (driver of the No. 5) and Reddick (No. 22) had their times disallowed for rear suspension violations. The cars of Boston (No. 25) and Munter (No. 55) had their times disallowed due to coil spring mount violations. The No. 23 car of Gallagher was disqualified for a mechanical lowering device. Gallagher was the only driver of those who were penalized that did not make the race.
Gerhart, a nine-time Daytona ARCA winner, will in the 40th and final position.
Despite erroneous and unfounded reports distributed on social media, there were no physical altercations, nor was any ARCA participant removed from the ARCA garage during or after qualifying or the inspection process, said Ron Drager, ARCA President.