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Justin Lofton wins Keystone Light Pole Award

June 06, 2014, Staff report,

Lofton takes top spot in second race of 2014 season

Related: Full race lineup

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Part-time competitor Justin Lofton won the Keystone Light Pole Award for Friday night's WinStar World Casino and Resort 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.


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Lofton topped Friday afternoon's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying in his NTS Motorsports No. 20 Chevrolet with a fast lap of 179.677 mph in warm, humid conditions. It was Lofton's second pole position in his Truck Series career.

Lofton will start first Friday night (9 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) in just his second Truck Series appearance this season for the Bob Newberry-owned team. The No. 20 truck has also been driven this season by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Austin Dillon, NASCAR Next driver Gray Gaulding and former Daytona winner John King.

"Team NTS has done a great job building this team up," Lofton said. "They have a solid foundation. Shoot, this is my second start with them, we're on the pole and fastest here. It's really awesome."

Defending series champion Matt Crafton will share the front row with Lofton after turning the second-fastest lap at 179.384 mph in the ThorSport Racing No. 88 Toyota. Ryan Blaney, two-time Texas winner Johnny Sauter and NASCAR Next driver Erik Jones completed the top five.

Defending race winner Jeb Burton landed the 11th starting spot for Friday night's race. Series points leader Timothy Peters will start 15th.

Crafton led the first of three rounds in the group, knockout-style qualifying with a lap of 180.288 mph, becoming the first driver to crack the 180-mph barrier in the two-day event. Darrell Wallace Jr. was the slowest of the 24 drivers to advance past the first round, but his 168.450 mph lap was purposely off the pace to conserve his tires for later rounds. It paid off with the seventh starting spot for Friday night's 167-lap race.

In the second round, all but one driver waited until the final minute of the 10-minute session to hit the track, touching off a frantic dash to claim one of the 12 berths in the five-minute final segment. Blaney was the fastest at 179.146 mph, edging Lofton's 179.075 mph lap at the cutoff point.


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