Race Weekend Central

Sam Hornish Jr. Administers Whooping on Field to Claim Mid-Ohio Pole

Sam Hornish Jr. was fastest in practice Saturday.  He was just getting warmed up.  In the second round of qualifying, Hornish came into his own.  With a track record lap of 83.921 seconds (96.863 mph), Hornish easily won the pole for the Mid-Ohio Challenge.

Hornish’s lap was nearly a full second faster than JR Motorsports’ Elliott Sadler.  Blake Koch will start in third, his best-ever qualifying performance on a road course.  Ryan Reed will start fourth, followed by Matt Tifft.

Daniel Hemric qualified sixth, followed by Ben Kennedy and Justin Allgaier.  Cole Custer qualified ninth, while Brennan Poole rounded out the top 10.

While Custer qualified ninth, he will not be starting there.  The young California native had two off-course excursions during the second round.  The first simply ruined a lap.  The second one exiting turn 1 resulted in serious damage to the nose of the car.   As a result, Custer will go to a backup car.

Custer will be joined at the back by a few other drivers.  Regan Smith, who qualified for the second round, did not turn a lap after cutting a tire late in the first round and stopping on track.  Technically, he qualified 12th, but he’ll have to go to the rear.  Andy Lally, who qualified 13th for SS-Green Light Racing, flat-spotted a tire.  Changing that sends the No. 07 to rear.

Finally, Motorsports Business Management’s Enrique Baca went wide exiting the Keyhole and ripped the splitter off of his No. 13 Toyota.  The damage to Baca’s car appears to be significant.  Baca qualified 29th, but will drop to the rear at bare minimum.

Starting Lineup for the XFINITY Series Mid-Ohio Challenge

Coverage of the Mid-Ohio Challenge begins with Countdown to Green at 3 p.m. on NBCSN.  The green flag is scheduled to fly around 3:48 p.m.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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