Blaise Alexander Captures Pole for ARCA RE/MAX Series BetOnUSA.com 150 at Watkins Glen By Patrick Jennings - Motorsport.com Watkins Glen, NY - Blaise Alexander will lead the 33-car ARCA field to the green flag in Saturday afternoon's ...
Blaise Alexander Captures Pole for ARCA RE/MAX Series BetOnUSA.com 150 at Watkins Glen
By Patrick Jennings - Motorsport.com
Watkins Glen, NY - Blaise Alexander will lead the 33-car ARCA field to the green flag in Saturday afternoon's BetOnUSA.com 150 at Watkins Glen International. Alexander, who has only competed in five ARCA races this season, posted a speed of 118.881 miles per hour around the historic 2.45-mile road-course. This weekend marks the ARCA series first visit to a road course since Des Moines, IA in 1994. With that in mind, just about anything could happen as the field takes the green flag and files in to the tight, 90-degree right-hand turn at the end of the front stretch.
"There's probably going to be a lot of yellow flags [Saturday]," Alexander stated. "There's a lot of run off areas this track. The only thing is if you get caught in the sand and then they have to throw the full-course caution. There have been a few off course excursions, but it hasn't been as bad as I thought. Everybody's using their [sic] heads pretty good, so far."
The drivers' collective lack of experience on road courses also resulted in a huge disparity in speed, with over 55 miles per hour separating the pole sitting Alexander from the last car to make the field based on time. "There's a lot of time-difference in the field [65.323 seconds], a big experience difference," Alexander explained. "I think the field will get spread out pretty good and everybody will be able to pace the race. If you race the race track, you'll end up pretty good here and if you don't go off course, you'll end up pretty good."
Lyndon Amick, the 1996 Goody's Dash champion, starts second. "I think we did pretty well. We've been fast at all the practice sessions. I mean we wanted the pole and didn't get it, but we are pretty happy. The biggest thing tomorrow is just to go out there and try to win the race."
Two-time ARCA series champion (1998 and 2000) and 2001 points leader Frank Kimmel will roll off the grid in the ninth position, while three-time ARCA champion Tim Steele elected to skip this round of the championship despite the fact that he is second in points, just 115 points behind Kimmel.
Third-generation driver Jason Jarrett, who's presently fourth in the ARCA point standings, starts fourth. "Well it's a lot better than I've done here in the past and even from this morning we picked up time and it felt like I got a little more comfortable and things like that," Jarrett said. "The important thing tomorrow is going to be making sure we don't break anything, a clutch or blow and engine."
Based on the post-qualifying quotes from many of the drivers, it seems that surviving turn-one and staying on the track could be the keys to finishing this afternoon's race.
The green flag will set the 33-car field on its way at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.