Hornish Captures First 2016 Pole

After a delay from the Formula 4 series race, NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying was a battle between rain and different tire rubber on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. However, the weather held off and Sam Hornish Jr. will start from the pole in Saturday’s Mid-Ohio Challenge. This is his eighth career pole and first of 2016. Hornish will also hold the new track record with a speed of 96.755 mph. 


In the first round of qualifying, David Starr spun and ended up in the sand trap to have the red flag fly when he entered into the “keyhole” portion of the track and ended up in the sand trap. The red flag was displayed for the second time due to weather in the area with 6 minutes and 22 seconds remaining. However, this round was able to run its advertised time with Hornish Jr. on top of the board with a speed of 96.755 mph. Ty Dillon was second at a speed of 95.753 mph, Owen Kelly was in third with a speed of 95.702 mph, Erik Jones edged his way into fourth with a speed of 95.661 mph, and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five at 95.481 mph. Notable drivers who did not advance to the second round include Blake Koch who qualified 13th, Brennan Poole who qualified 17, Kenny Habul who qualified 18th, and Alon Day who qualified 22nd. No drivers will be going home from Mid-Ohio this weekend.


The second round of qualifying was not plagued by weather or on-track accidents like the first round.. Hornish Jr. topped the round with a speed of 96.374 mph. Kelly qualified second with a speed of 95.877 mph, Blaney qualified third at 95.739 mph, Elliott Sadler qualified fourth at a speed of 95.675 mph, and Daniel Suarez rounds out the top five with a speed of 95.613 mph. Dillon, who qualified second in the first round, qualified seventh. 


The Mid-Ohio Challenge from Lexington, Ohio will be on USA Network and Motor Racing Network beginning at 3 pm eastern with pre-race shows. Action from Mid-Ohio will begin at 3:30 pm eastern

Caleb Whisler
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