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Dylan Kwasniewski Earns Nationwide Series Pole in First Group Qualifying for NASCAR

February 21st, 2014 at 8:21 PM
By Mark Eddinger

Group qualifying debuted on Friday at Daytona International Speedway to set the field for the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide series race. Dylan Kwasniewski won the pole position in his first career Nationwide Series start at the age of 18.

The group qualifying was supposed to consist of three sessions. The top 24 from a 25 minute first session would advance and then in session two the top 12 fastest from that session would advance to the third and final round. Unfortunately only the first 25 minute session was able to be completed due to rain at the track.

'IMG_2011_04_29_9900' photo (c) 2011, lam_chihang - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The first session was delayed by rain with six minutes left but NASCAR dried the track and completed the session before more rain moved in meaning the field would be set by the speeds in the first session since it was completed in its entirety.

Team strategy played into Kwasniewski earning the pole as him and his Turner Scott Motorsports teammates for the race Kyle Larson and Danica Patrick let a large pack of cars pass them and then used a tow from that draft to turn the three fastest laps in the session.

"It's pretty crazy," Kwasniewski said. "To see my name at the top of the board, that's ridiculous. … That's Turner Scott Motorsports' job right there. All we have to do is get in the right place at the right time and the spotters did a great job of getting us in the right position. We got a great run on that pack in front of us, sucked up at the right time."
 
Kwasniewski is driving the No. 31 Chevrolet full time this season. He earned the pole with a time of 48.856 seconds and 192.078 mph. Starting second will be Kyle Larson. Danica Patrick will start in third. The three TSM cars are followed by three Joe Gibbs Racing cars. Starting fourth will be Kyle Busch with Elliott Sadler fifth, and Matt Kenseth sixth.
 
Jamie Dick had a great run in the No. 55 Chevrolet and will start seventh. Jeff Green will roll of eighth in the No. 91 Toyota for TriStar Motorsports. Johnny Sauter will start ninth in the No. 80 Toyota and David Starr is tenth in another TriStar Toyota.
 
Blake Koch will start 11th, Mike Bliss 12th, Eric McClure 13th, James Buescher 14th, Harrison Rhodes 15th, Dale Earnhardt Jr 16th, Brad Keselowski 17th, Bobby Gerhart 18th, Regan Smith 19th, Brian Scott 20th, Robert Richardson Jr 21st, Scott Lagasse Jr 22nd, Ty Dillon 23rd, Mike Wallace 24th, Joe Nemechek 25th, Chase Elliott 26th, Brendan Gaughan 27th, Jason White 28th, Ryan Sieg 29th, Dakoda Armstrong 30th, Trevor Bayne 31st, and Josh Wise 32nd. Those drivers all got in on speed.
 
Owner points set positions 33 to 39. Jeremy Clements will start 33rd, Landon Cassill 34th, Derrike Cope 35th, Joey Gase 36th, Jeffrey Earnhardt 37th, Mike Harmon 38th, and Ryan Reed 39th. The 40th starting position was given on speed to Chad Boat.
 
A few big names missed the race. David Ragan did not make the field in the No. 98 Ford of Biagi-Denbeste Racing. Also Roush Fenway Racing rookie driver Chris Buescher did not make the field in the No. 60 Ford. Also missing out were the Vision Racing duo of Tanner Berryhill and Matt DiBenedetto, the Martins Motorsports duo of Willie Allen and Clay Greenfield, Carlos Contreras in the Rick Ware Racing No. 15 car, Matt Cater in the No. 93 and Carl Long in the No. 13.
 
The DRIVE4COPD 300 can be seen at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN Saturday.
Tags: Danica Patrick, Daytona International Speedway, Drive4COPD 300, Dylan Kwasniewski, Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Motorsports, NASCAR, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Turner Scott Motorsports

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