PIQUET JR. CAPTURES POLE FOR THE LUCAS OIL 150
Nelson Piquet Jr. captures the pole for the 15th Annual Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway with a lap time of 26.778 seconds, 134.439 mph. The time set a new PIR record for the series, surpassing Clint Bowyer’s speed of 133.949 mph in February 2011, the final race before the track was repaved.
Piquet Jr., who currently ranked seventh in points heading into Friday’s semi-final race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, earned his fourth pole in 51 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, his fourth pole in 2012 and his 15th top-10 start of the year. It is his first pole at Phoenix International Raceway.
“I feel good, we were even better in practice,” said Piquet Jr. “I’m happy we managed to do our homework and to be on the pole. Now the next step is to win the race.”
Ryan Blaney finished second in qualifying and will join Piquet Jr. on the front row after posting a time of 26.793 (134.363 mph). For Blaney, it was his third top-10 start of 2012 and his first at PIR. Points leader James Buescher qualified ninth among the 38 entries with a time of 26.922 (133.720 mph), while Ty Dillon, who currently ranks second in points (-15) finished 21st with a time of 27.313 (131.805).
“We were loose in and tight in the middle, still had a decent time, it was about the same as what we ran in practice last night,” said Buescher. “I was hoping to be able to pick it up a little but we didn’t. We’ll just have to race our way to the front.”
Brian Scott qualified third with a speed of 134.238 mph and will be joined in the second row by Cale Gale who ran a speed of 134.218. Timothy Peters, who ranks third in points, qualified eighth with a speed of 133.764, while Parker Kligerman, who is fourth in points, qualified seventh (133.769).
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NASCAR star Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Great Clips Chevy SS for Hendrick Motorsports, attended Wednesday’s Phoenix Suns home game versus the Charlotte Hornets at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Kahne was in the Phoenix area to promote the start of the 2016 NASCAR season, the Daytona 500, and the Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, which is scheduled for Sunday, March 13.
For people looking for that perfect gift for the race fan in their life, Phoenix International Raceway has extended its Black Friday and Cyber Monday special offers through the end of the week.