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Dillon earns Nationwide pole

June 01, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Dillon earns Nationwide pole
Beats out Hornish Jr., Kyle Busch to earn pole after topping practice

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DOVER, Del. -- Austin Dillon used the last two laps of qualifying to win his second straight pole position of the season and will lead the field to green for this afternoon’s 5-Hour ENERGY 200 Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway.

Dillon’s speed of 152.951 mph in the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet was a mere .017-second faster than Sam Hornish Jr.’s No. 12 Wurth Ford, knocking Hornish off the pole in the final minute of the session around the concrete 1-miler known as  the “Monster Mile.”

Kyle Busch, rookie Alex Bowman and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top-five qualifiers.

Neither the 23-year old Dillon nor Hornish expected their qualifying times to put them on the front row, however.

“I was not surprised to be on the pole,’’ said Dillon, who had been quickest in final practice.

“But I was surprised that lap ended up on the pole because I was actually going for a different one (time). So it’s pretty impressive to know we are on the pole with that lap.

“Dover is an awesome track and being out here in the middle of the summer with the grip changes, you just have to find that grip. But I’m a dirt racer and I’m used to that.’’

The temperatures in the Dover areas have neared 90 degrees, with local weather forecasters declaring a heat wave. Other than the drivers being uncomfortable in the car, the high temperatures will cause the track conditions to vary greatly in the race.

“We were too free in the first lap of qualifying and when the told me I had pulled that time, I decided not to do another lap,’’ said Hornish, who had been only 11th fastest in final practice.

“I decided let’s not take a chance. We qualified 14th here last year and drove up to second, so I know starting second will be a lot better for us. We just need to make better adjustments.

This is Dillon’s fifth pole in 55 Nationwide Series starts. Defending race winner Brad Keselowski isn’t competing today.

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