Brian Scott wins pole for tonight’s Richmond Nationwide race

Leave a comment

Tonight, Brian Scott will look to get the one that got away from him last fall.

Scott won the pole for tonight’s NASCAR Nationwide Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway after posting a lap of 22.120 seconds (122.061 mph) in the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

In last fall’s Nationwide race at Richmond – the 1000th race in series history – Scott led 239 of the 250 laps only to lose out to Brad Keselowski, who passed him with 10 laps to go and then pulled away from him off the final restart with six to go before claiming victory.

Starting alongside Scott tonight will be 18-year-old Dylan Kwasniewski, who was leading the final round before Scott threw down his eventual pole-winning lap. The Las Vegas native topped out at 22.153 seconds (121.880 mph) in the No. 31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet.

Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott, who has won the last two Nationwide races at Texas and Darlington, will start from Row 3. Trevor Bayne and Chris Buescher make up Row 4, Regan Smith and Kyle Busch are in Row 5, and Kevin Harvick and Nationwide rookie Carlos Suarez roll off from Row 6.

In the first round, many teams waited until clouds settled over the 3/4-mile oval before going out for their fast laps to get in the Top 12. In the end, Bayne was the quickest in Round 1 with a lap of 22.076 seconds, while Suarez was able to stay on the 12th-place bubble and advance.

Elliott Sadler and Kyle Larson both narrowly missed advancing and will start together in Row 7. Larson admitted that he was taken aback at his qualifying performance but tried to shrug it off.

“My fast lap didn’t feel that fast,” Larson said to ESPN. “I was surprised that we were as bad as we were. I don’t know, it’s shocking to be 14th [on the grid], but we’ll race fine. I felt like we had one of the best cars in practice yesterday. [And] look at last year, I was never really typically a good qualifier.

“So I’m not too worried about it. I think everybody over here…will be just fine. Just a little disappointed about how qualifying went, but like I said, we’ll be fine.”

Tonight’s race is scheduled to start around 7 p.m. ET, but there is a possibility that rain may push back the start to some degree. We’ll keep you posted.

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

3 Comments

With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden was .0128 seconds faster than teammate Scott Dixon in second.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

“I didn’t know if that was going to be enough,” Newgarden said after winning the pole.

“Team Chevy has done a good job,” Newgarden said. “They’ve really given us good power this weekend – good driveability. We’re going to need some fuel mileage tomorrow, which I think we’ll have. But it’s going to get mixed up with the rain.”

Dixon’s lap of 122.750 mph was not quite enough.

“I’m sure you could pick out a number of different things on a lap when it’s that close,” Power said about what made the slight difference between him and Newgarden. “A little mistake out of 9; a little lift here or there.”

Sebastien Bourdais (122.605 mph) qualified third, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.159) and James Hinchliffe (121.859) rounding out the top five.

Scott Dixon was the last driver in the top six.

Fast 12

Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 mph after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph.

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.

Results are below. The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama rolls off at 3:00 p.m. ET.