Ty Dillon is going to do everything he can to still potentially win the Nationwide Series championship this season.
He took a big step towards that by winning the pole for tonight’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway.
It’s Dillon’s second NNS pole of the season.
Dillon, who is in his first full season in the NNS series, covered the 1.5-mile banked oval at a field-best speed of 175.690 mph.
Dillon comes into tonight’s race in third place in the NNS standings, 40 points behind series leader Chase Elliott, and 22 points behind second-ranked Regan Smith.
Sam Hornish Jr., whose name is being prominently mentioned of late as a possible replacement for Marcos Ambrose at Richard Petty Motorsports for next season, was second-fastest at 175.245 mph.
Series veteran Brendan Gaughan was third-fastest at 175.097 mph, followed by Cale Conley (175.046), Brian Scott (174.853) and Chris Buescher (174.791).
Elliott Sadler, another name being bandied around for Ambrose’s Sprint Cup seat at RPM, was seventh-fastest at 174.284 mph, followed by Michael McDowell (174.070), Elliott (173.930) and Smith (173.600).
Trevor Bayne qualified and will start 11th (173.422), alongside Justin Boston (173.410).
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.
The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.
“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.
“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.
“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”
The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.
Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.
Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.
McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.