Craig Goess Rides Momentum, Speeds to First Career Pole at Michigan (BROOKLYN, Mich.) - Mikey Kile laid down a quick lap during Menards Pole Qualifying Presented by Ansell at Michigan International Speedway, and then dared the field to chase it.
Craig Goess Rides Momentum, Speeds to First Career Pole at Michigan
(BROOKLYN, Mich.) - Mikey Kile laid down a quick lap during Menards Pole Qualifying Presented by Ansell at Michigan International Speedway, and then dared the field to chase it. Craig Goess did, and his No. 81 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Toyota will start from the first position in Friday's Racing for Wildlife 200.
Goess turned the 2-mile Michigan oval in 38.49 seconds (187.062 mph), the fourth-best pole time in 28 ARCA Racing Series Presented by RE/MAX and Menards qualifying sessions at the track since 1980.
"We knew we had a pretty fast car when we tested here (in May). We were toward the top of the board all day," said Goess.
Goess mentioned that the high of winning his first career race at Pocono last week played a role in winning his first career pole in the Irish Hills.
"Momentum doesn't hurt. Everybody's in good spirits, and everybody's got that little bit of confidence," he said. "I also think that open test (on May 25) helped a lot."
The pole was the second consecutive at Michigan for Eddie Sharp Racing, which won the first spot with driver Scott Speed in 2008. Last year's qualifying session was cancelled.
Kile finished second on the strength of his 38.592-second (186.567 mph) lap in the No. 25 Sears Auto Center/DieHard Toyota.
"It's another front row starting spot," said Kile, who has started from the first or second spot on four of seven previous occasions this season. "We got a little loose in Turn 4 and had to work with it a little bit. We made a mock run in practice, and it was just a little free. But in qualifying, it was definitely a lot better. We're really happy with it, other than it being free off of Turn 4."
Kile continued, stating his initial confidence that the run would stand at the top.
"I told the guys, 'If anybody can beat that, they can have it,'" he said. "Craig Goess went out there and beat it though!"
Goess had also finished atop the chart in practice earlier in the day, topping Patrick Sheltra (No. 60 Recycling Services/Ferguson Pipe Toyota), who qualified third, and Kile.
"We would have liked to have been on the pole, but we'll take third and look at the bigger picture tomorrow: winning the race," said Sheltra, who has four previous starts at the track. "That was the fastest lap we have turned at Michigan this year, so we really can't complain.
Goess was particularly pleased with the location of his first pole, citing the prestige of historic Michigan International Speedway.
"I think the first pole is special, but especially here," he said. "It's a great facility, and definitely first-class. Coming right from our good run at Pocono last week, that's another companion event. It's another chance to have your name out there, so I probably couldn't pick it any better than that."
Clay Rogers made the No. 42 Beard Oil/Conoco Philips Lubricants Chevrolet the fourth car to break the 39-second mark, and Nelson Piquet filled out the top five with a lap of 39.041 seconds. Dakoda Armstrong, Steve Arpin, and Joey Coulter followed, and two-time MIS winner Frank Kimmel qualified ninth. Bryan Silas completed the top ten.
The Racing for Wildlife 200 begins at 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, with live television coverage provided by SPEED and live radio coverage provided by the BAS Racing Network and streamed online at ARCARacing.com.