Friday, June 6, 2014

Justin Lofton dashes to Truck pole at Texas Motor Speedway

Justin Lofton
photo credit Boyd Adams, courtesy of RubbingsRacing.com
Justin Lofton nabbed his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole Friday evening for the WinStar World Casino and Resort 400. 2013 series champion Matt Crafton almost caught him, running just .049 seconds behind the polewinner.

Texas Motor Speedway is a 1.5 mile speedway, so 24 drivers advance from the first round of qualifying. With only 27 entries in the field, the drivers had to do something to make knockout qualifying exciting.

Norm Benning and Jennifer Jo Cobb did their part to ramp up the tension by almost not making it to the grid. Then Darrell Wallace Jr. ran an early lap at what was probably three-quarters throttle, then waited to see if he needed to make another run. In the end, only Benning, Justin Jennings, and Ryan Ellis failed to advance.

For the second round, a pack of drivers attempted the Kevin Harvick maneuver of waiting until the literal last minute to go out. Then they blasted a quick lap, running as fast as they could to take get that last lap before the end of qualifying. The TMS track announcer said they were "running like a stabbed rat."

Those who made it through to the next round employed the same technique in the final round, with similar results.

The race broadcast begins at 8PM Central on Fox Sports 1.

Here's the starting order:

Rank Driver Nbr Time Speed
1   Justin Lofton 20 30.054   179.677  
2   Matt Crafton 88 30.103   179.384  
3   Ryan Blaney 29 30.229   178.636  
4   Johnny Sauter 98 30.235   178.601  
5   Erik Jones 51 30.239   178.577  
6   Joe Nemechek 8 30.399   177.637  
7   Darrell Wallace, Jr. 54 30.422   177.503  
8   German Quiroga 77 30.424   177.491  
9   John Wes Townley 5 30.457   177.299  
10   Ron Hornaday, Jr. 30 30.523   176.916  
11   Jeb Burton 13 30.535   176.846  
12   Tyler Reddick 19 30.558   176.713  
13   Brennan Newberry 9 30.628   176.309  
14   Tayler Malsam 32 30.657   176.142  
15   Timothy Peters 17 30.673   176.051  
16   Bryan Silas 99 30.744   175.644  
17   Tyler Young 2 30.745   175.638  
18   Ben Kennedy 31 30.792   175.370  
19   Joey Coulter 21 30.896   174.780  
20   Mason Mingus 35 31.063   173.840  
21   T.J. Bell 50 31.511   171.369  
22   Jennifer Jo Cobb 10 31.766   169.993  
23   Jimmy Weller III 8 31.785   169.891  
24   B.J. McLeod 7 .000  
25   Justin Jennings 63 32.713   165.072  
26   Norm Benning 57 33.030   163.488  
27   Ryan Ellis 0 33.174   162.778
 

Janine, aka Lisa or LJ, Cloud, a fifth-generation Texan, lives in Houston and considers Texas Motor Speedway her home track.

She's been a part of the Skirts and Scuffs team since May 2011, going from contributor to media rep, photographer, and associate editor covering both NASCAR and the Verizon IndyCar Series. Janine considers it a privilege to represent the site at the track and to share with readers the excitement of the world of motorsports.

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