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Alex Tagliani Takes Road America Pole

Alex Tagliani Takes Road America Pole

by June 21, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. — In his fifth career NASCAR Nationwide Series start, Alex Tagliani (Team Penske) has claimed his second career series pole and will lead the field to the green for today’s Gardner Denver 200 at the Road America circuit.

Tagliani tackled the 14-turn circuit in 2:14.411 and while the Canadian’s lap was not quick enough to set a new track record, it was quick enough to beat series rookie Dylan Kwasniewski’s (Turner Scott Motorsports) time by just over one-tenth of a second. Kwasniewski’s quick lap time was good enough to deliver the rookie his third front-row starting position of the year.

The pole-sitter’s fellow road course ringers were able to turn in solid qualifying efforts themselves. Justin Marks (Turner Scott Motorsports), Kwasniewski’s teammate for the weekend, put the No. 31 SOL Republic Camaro eighth on the grid with his lap of 2:15.325 seconds. Andy Lally (Viva Motorsports), former Sprint Cup Series rookie, rounded out the top-10 with his lap of 2:15.720 seconds.

The Nationwide Series regulars were able to run solidly in the top-10 as well. Points leader Regan Smith (JR Motorsports) is looking to add to his current lead in the drivers’ standings this weekend and will drive off the starting grid in the third position. Joining Smith on the second row will be Sam Hornish Jr. (Joe Gibbs Racing), who is looking for his first-ever Nationwide Series road course win and his second win of the season.

Richard Childress Racing’s trio of drivers put in a great effort across the board in Saturday morning’s qualifying sessions. Brendan Gaughan would lead the trio of RCR drivers with his lap of 2:14.710 seconds – placing the eighth-year driver fifth on the grid. Teammates Brian Scott and Ty Dillon would slot in right behind Gaughan for the start in sixth and seventh.

Landon Cassill (JD Motorsports) and J.J. Yeley (JGL Racing) – both of whom are running a road-course double this weekend – were on hand at Elkhart Lake to qualify their respective cars for today’s event and will not be forced to start from the rear of the field.¬†Yeley will start 22nd while Cassill will start 25th.

Out of four previous races at Road America for the Nationwide Series, the pole-sitter has gone on to win the race three times with the last two races held at the four-mile course being won from the pole. Reed Sorenson is the only driver to win at the track from a non-pole starting spot when he won the 2011 Gardner Denver 200 from a 12th-place starting position.

Top-10 Qualifiers for the Gardner Denver 200

  1. 22 – Alex Tagliani – Ford – Team Penske – 2:14.411 | Leader
  2. 42 – Dylan Kwasniewski# – Chevrolet – Turner Scott Motorsports – 2:14.513 | -0.102
  3. 7 – Regan Smith – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports – 2:14.632 | -0.221
  4. 54 – Sam Hornish Jr. – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing – 2:14.702 | -0.291
  5. 62 – Brendan Gaughan – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 2:14.710 | -0.299
  6. 2 – Brian Scott – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 2:14.758 | -0.347
  7. 3 – Ty Dillon# – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 2:15.033 | -0.622
  8. 31 – Justin Marks – Chevrolet – Turner Scott Motorsports – 2:15.325 | -0.914
  9. 60 – Chris Buescher# – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing – 2:15.623 | -1.212
  10. 55 – Andy Lally – Chevrolet – Viva Motorsports – 2:15.720 | -1.309

# = Rookie.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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