Sam Hornish Jr. scores Aaron’s 312 pole in last minutes of session

Photo Credit: Getty Images

In the final moments of the third round of qualifying, the Joe Gibbs Racing cars got lined up and were able to get a good run off of the pack in front of them, allowing them to take the top three spots in Aaron’s 312 qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway. In the end, the middle car of the three-car pack – Sam Hornish Jr. – scoring his sixth career Coor’s Light pole award in his first start this season.

“When I watched at Daytona, it didn’t look as hectic as what it felt like today,” Hornish Jr. commented post-qualifying. “I feel as it evolves and what it will be like, I think it worked out well. It was really about patience and picking the right runs. It’s going to be something that as they go to Daytona for the next time that you’ll see some more of that cat and mouse game. I’m glad that it’s three session as we weren’t good at first, but we’re here. I’m just proud of the opportunity that I have here and how well it worked out today.”

In the first round, the JGR Toyotas just barely made the cut in the top 24. However, as the session went on, the drivers, crew chief and spotters learned that if they could get a good quick toe off of someone, they’d be able to post the quick time. Using that knowledge to their advantage was the key in the final session in getting the run in the final minute.

Elliott Sadler will line up second after contending for the win back in Daytona and says that he likes this qualifying format for the excitement it delivers for the fans.

“I think this is awesome for the fans,” Sadler commented. “Leave it hectic … that’s part of the game.”

Darrell Wallace Jr. qualified third in his first Nationwide Series start of the season, followed by Ryan Reed and Michael Annett.

Ryan Blaney qualified sixth, followed by Ty Dillon, Chris Buescher, James Buescher and Brian Scott.

After winning last year’s race and the season opener at Daytona, Regan Smith qualified 32nd with teammates Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott 31st and 37th, respectively. Sadler was asked about their qualifying positions, in which he says it may hurt pit selection, they’ll be fine in the race.

“I expect them to be at the front in the first 10 laps,” he added.

Unfortunately, qualifying didn’t go smoothly for everyone as Tanner Barryhill spun off of turn four and made heavy contact with the wall after contact from Kyle Larson. Larson had minor damage on his Chevrolet as a result.

The Nationwide Series Aaron’s 312 is scheduled to run Saturday afternoon following the ARCA race and Sprint Cup Series Qualifying.



1 Sam Hornish Jr Monster Energy Toyota 51.268 186.783 54
2 Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial Toyota 51.270 186.776 11
3 Darrell Wallace Jr(i) ToyotaCare Toyota 51.283 186.729 20
4 Ryan Reed # ADADrivetoStopDiabetesbyLillyDiabetes Ford 52.021 184.080 16
5 Dakoda Armstrong # WinField Ford 52.044 183.998 43
6 Ryan Blaney(i) Discount Tire Ford 52.202 183.441 22
7 Ty Dillon # Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet 52.253 183.262 3
8 Chris Buescher # Roush Performance Parts Ford 52.326 183.007 60
9 James Buescher Rheem Toyota 52.369 182.856 99
10 Brian Scott Shore Lodge Chevrolet 52.400 182.748 2
11 Brendan Gaughan South Point Chevrolet 52.524 182.317 62
12 Landon Cassill Flex Seal Chevrolet 52.561 182.188 01
13 David Ragan(i) Carroll Shelby Engine Co Ford 51.306 186.645 98
14 Blake Koch HeroesBhindtheCamo/ Toyota 51.531 185.830 10
15 John Wes Townley(i) Zaxby’s Toyota 51.550 185.761 25
16 David Starr Lumber Company Toyota 51.577 185.664 44
17 Jamie Dick Viva Auto Group Chevrolet 51.584 185.639 55
18 Eric McClure Hefty Ultimate/Reynolds Wrap Toyota 51.588 185.625 14
19 Mike Bliss TriStar Motorsports Toyota 51.617 185.520 19
20 Kyle Larson(i) Cartwheel Chevrolet 51.914 184.459 42
21 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 51.929 184.406 6
22 Robert Richardson Jr Cornboard Chevrolet 55.153 173.626 23
23 Matt DiBenedetto Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet 50.435 189.868 46
24 Josh Wise(i) Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet 51.061 187.540 40
25 Jeff Green TriStar Motorsports Toyota 51.147 187.225 91
26 Mike Harmon Dodge 51.259 186.816 74
27 Ryan Sieg # RSS Racing Chevrolet 51.336 186.536 39
28 Dylan Kwasniewski # Rockstar Chevrolet 51.345 186.503 31
29 Tommy Joe Martins Diamond Gusset Jeans Dodge 51.355 186.467 76
30 Bobby Gerhart Lucas Oil Chevrolet 51.355 186.467 85
31 Kasey Kahne(i) Great Clips Chevrolet 51.680 185.294 5
32 Regan Smith Ragu Chevrolet 51.695 185.240 7
33 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 52.139 183.663 51
34 JJ Yeley JGL Racing Dodge 52.185 183.501 28
35 Carl Long JGL Racing Dodge 52.430 182.644 93
36 Joey Gase Donate Life Chevrolet 52.625 181.967 52
37 Chase Elliott # NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Owner Points 181.825 9
38 Joe Nemechek Toyota Owner Points 178.218 87
39 Jeffrey Earnhardt FW1 Chevrolet Owner Points 166.308 4
40 Tanner Berryhill # Dodge 51.624 185.495 17
About Ashley McCubbin 3102 Articles
Joining mid-2013 season, Ashley McCubbin is now the Managing Editor and contributes to each racing division as needed. Since studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber, Ashley has published articles on a couple of different websites, while serving as a public relations representative for different short track teams. Born in North York, Ontario, Ashley currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area. She has spent her entire life at the short track level, falling in love with the sport at the age of five. Beyond her love of short track racing, she also has grown an interest for both NASCAR and the IndyCar Racing Series. She also enjoys taking photos and working on websites, while playing a couple rounds of Candy Crush afterwards.

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