Sam Hornish Jr. wins NASCAR Xfinity pole at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio (AP) Sam Hornish Jr. took the pole position Friday for the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Hornish broke the track record with a lap at 96.755 in the first of the two qualifying sessions, and took the top spot with a 96.374 mph run in the finale on the 2.085-mile, 13-turn circuit.
From Defiance, Ohio, Hornish is driving Richard Childress Racing's No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro, teaming crew chief Gil Martin. The three-time IndyCar season champion and 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner drove for Joe Gibbs Racing in the series' two races at Iowa Speedway this season, winning the first one.
The 37-year-old Hornish has made two Xfinity starts at Mid-Ohio, finishing third in the inaugural event in 2013 and 30th the following year after starting from the pole and having engine problems.
Road racer Owen Kelly qualified second in Gibbs' No. 18 Toyota, and Ryan Blaney was third in a Team Penske Ford. Points leader Elliott Sadler was fourth in his JR Motorsports Chevrolet, followed by Gibbs drivers Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones.
Brazil's Nelson Piquet Jr., was ninth in Biagi DenBeste Racing's No. 98 Ford. He won a series event at Road America in 2012.
To honor late dirt-track racer Bryan Clauson, the teams are running ''BC'' decals on the cars. The 27-year-old Clauson died Sunday night from injuries sustained in a crash in Kansas.