LONG POND, Pa. – After leading the 90-minute practice session earlier in the day, Todd Gilliland earned his first General Tire Pole Award of the year in qualifying for the ARCA Menards Series FORTS USA 150 at Pocono Raceway.
Gilliland, substituting for Joe Gibbs Racing as the team’s usual superspeedway driver Riley Herbst participates in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway, turned a fast lap of 52.255 seconds at 172.232 mph. Gilliland’s lap was two tenths of a second quicker than Christian Eckes, who qualified second with a lap of 52.241 seconds at 171.589 mph.
“That wasn’t a comfortable lap at all,” Gilliland said after qualifying. “It’s really loose out there. The traction compound is going to help a lot of drivers who get up out of the groove but my plan is to keep it down on the inside. It’s a lot shorter down there.”
Chandler Smith, making his first attempt at the 2.5-mile triangular layout, qualified third. Smith enters the FORTS USA 150 with a two-race win streak and wins in four of his previous five starts.
ARCA Menards Series championship leader Michael Self qualified fourth and Corey Heim rounded out the top five.