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Ryan Blaney on Pole for Get To Know Newton 250

Ryan Blaney on Pole for Get To Know Newton 250

by May 18, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR

NEWTON, Iowa. — Even though he ran in just one of the weekend’s four practice sessions, Ryan Blaney (Team Penske) was able to adapt quickly to the surface of the Iowa Speedway to grab the pole position for the Get To Know Newton 250.

Blaney ran a lap that was three-thousandths of a second quicker than the lap completed by second-place Sam Hornish Jr. (Joe Gibbs Racing) to earn the first pole of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career. Blaney faced some stiff competition in the second and final round of knockout qualifying as qualifying positions two-through-five were separated by less than one-tenth of a second.

The Joe Gibbs Racing stable had a great qualifying effort with Hornish leading the way with his second-place effort. Michael McDowell qualified in third for his first start in the No. 20 Pizza Ranch Camry of the year and Elliott Sadler qualified in the eighth position off the heels of his victory in Talladega.

Although they dominated Friday’s practice sessions for the race, Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports) and Brian Scott (Richard Childress Racing) were both unable to qualify in the top-five for the race. As was the case during all of Friday’s practices, Elliott and Scott placed themselves right next to each other on the speedchart at the conclusion of qualifying – Elliott would qualify in sixth with Scott qualifying right behind the current points leader in seventh.

Dylan Kwasniewski (Turner Scott Motorsports) put in a strong performance in qualifying that delivered him his third top-five starting position of the year with his fifth-place qualifying effort. Kwasniewski’s quick qualifying pace should come as no surprise as he was able to start from the second-place starting position at the Richmond International Raceway, a short track similar in shape and length to Iowa. It should be noted that Kwasniewski is in the No. 42 Up & Up Camaro this week and is racing with the No. 42’s regular crew and not with his No. 31 crew.

Roush-Fenway Racing’s trio of drivers had their share of struggles during their qualifying runs. Chris Buescher was the lead RFR driver in the standings with his 11th-place qualifying run. Ryan Reed would qualify in 15th and defending Get To Know Newton 250 race winner, Trevor Bayne, qualified alongside Reed on Row 8 in 16th-place.

While 41 teams registered to run Sunday’s race, only 40 cars took to the track to qualify as the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing entry withdrew prior to the session. Ryan Ellis was initially scheduled to run the No. 15 car but would move over to the No. 46 The Motorsports Group entry for qualifying, taking over the seat from Matt Dibenedetto.

The pole winner at Iowa has only gone on to win at the track once in the eight races that have been held at the .875-mile oval – Sadler being the only driver to do it in August of 2012. The average start of the eventual race winner at Iowa is 6.0 and the furthest back on the grid a driver has come from to win a race here is 14th.

Top-10 Qualifiers for the Get To Know Newton 250

  1. 22 – Ryan Blaney(i) – Ford – Team Penske – 23.148 seconds | Leader
  2. 54 – Sam Hornish Jr. – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing – 23.151 seconds | -0.003
  3. 20 – Michael McDowell(i) – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing – 23.168 seconds | -0.020
  4. 7 – Regan Smith – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports – 23.219 seconds | -0.071
  5. 42 – Dylan Kwasniewski# – Chevrolet – Turner Scott Motorsports – 23.243 seconds | -0.095
  6. 9 – Chase Elliott# – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports – 23.258 seconds | -0.110
  7. 2 – Brian Scott – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 23.303 seconds | -0.155
  8. 11 – Elliott Sadler – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing – 23.309 seconds | -0.161
  9. 01 – Landon Cassill – Chevrolet – JD Motorsports – 23.319 seconds | -0.171
  10. 62 – Brendan Gaughan – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 23.443 seconds | -0.295

# = Rookie.

(i) = Ineligible for NASCAR Nationwide Series points.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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