Alex Tagliani will seek his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory from the pole position in this afternoon’s Gardner Denver 200 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Tagliani, who won at Road America in an open-wheel Champ Car back in 2004, turned in a time of 134.411 seconds in the final round of qualifying around the giant, 4-mile circuit.
It marks his second Nationwide Series pole in five starts (Montreal, 2012).
The fact that Tagliani is starting from pole isn’t a surprise considering his road-racing skills and the fact that he’s driving the No. 22 Team Penske Ford that won all three Nationwide road course events last year.
But the other front-row starter may be a surprise: 18-year-old Dylan Kwasniewski, whose lap of 134.513 seconds was good for second on the grid.
Kwasniewski has had a tough year so far with just one Top-10 and 3 DNFs in the first 13 races. It will be interesting to see if he can stay patient on this tricky course. If he does, he might get the result that turns his season around.
Series points leader Regan Smith will try to keep hold on the championship from the inside of Row 2. Lining up beside him is Joe Gibbs Racing part-timer Sam Hornish Jr.
A pair of Richard Childress Racing drivers make up Row 3, with Brendan Gaughan on the inside and Brian Scott on the outside.
Another RCR driver, Ty Dillon, and Justin Marks are in Row 4, followed by Chris Buescher and Andy Lally in Row 5. Lally is a regular in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Elliott Sadler, who sits 14 points behind Smith in the NNS title race, is starting 11th to match his car number. Chase Elliott qualified 12th after missing yesterday’s practice due to an engine change.
Today’s Nationwide race will take the green flag around 2:45 p.m. ET.