Quiroga becomes first Mexican pole winner
July 13, 2013, Brad Norman, NASCAR.com
NEWTON, Iowa -- Six drivers topped the previous NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying record at Iowa Speedway on Saturday evening, and German Quiroga Jr. had the best outing. His run was more than fast, though. It was historic.
Quiroga’s lap of 138.630 mph (22.724 seconds) earned him the Keystone Light Pole for Saturday night’s American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen (8:30 p.m. ET, SPEED), making it the first time in NASCAR national series history a driver of Mexican descent won the pole.
"It's been a lot of pressure this year," Quiroga said after his record run. "But I've been working a lot, my team has been working a lot and we're getting better. We're getting there. This is a very big moment for me."
The driver of the Red Horse Racing No. 77 Toyota led a speedy six-pack of drivers that all topped Parker Kligerman’s track record of 137.507 mph set in the 2012 fall race.
Miguel Paludo (138.310 mph), Ty Dillon (138.200), Brendan Gaughan (138.097), Ross Chastain (138.091) and Ryan Blaney (137.844) all topped the old mark and will start second through sixth in the field, respectively.
Chastain was the only driver this week to finish in the top five of all three practice sessions and qualify for a spot in the top five.He’ll start one spot ahead of Blaney, his Brad Keselowski Racing teammate.
Blaney is most the recent Truck Series winner at Iowa, and he unexpectedly drove in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race earlier this season. Blaney was the back-up driver for Joey Logano and was flown into town from Texas after driving in the Truck Series race.
When rain delayed the Nationwide race and Logano went north to Pocono for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Blaney took the reins of the No. 22 Ford and finished ninth.
“It was kind of a cluster last time I was here. I didn’t even know if I was going to get a ride,” Blaney said. “In that kind of situation it was unfortunate, because me and Joey drive so different from each other.It’s definitely a lot more comfortable this time, actually practicing and having a lot more time here at the track.”
Rounding out the top 10 for Saturday night’s race are 17-year-old Erik Jones in seventh (137.381 mph), Johnny Sauter (137.321), Joey Coulter (137.165) and Timothy Peters (137.135).
Darrell Wallace Jr. had to make his first run count after getting loose heading into Turn 4 on his second attempt. His No. 54 Toyota spit up smoke as Wallace tried to regain control, but only grazed the wall, likely preventing the need to move to a back-up car. Still, he’ll start 21st.
Series points leader Matt Crafton will start 16th and has five top-10s in five Iowa races, and 17-year-old Chase Elliott is 11th on the grid.
“We wouldn’t come up here if we didn’t think we could win the race,” Elliott said. “We’re capable of doing that if we put it all together and have a mistake-free race.”
Bryan Silas went to his back-up truck after smacking the wall during final practice earlier Saturday and didn’t log a qualifying lap.