Salem: Series qualifying report

Max Gresham Takes Pole in ARCA Debut at Salem SALEM, IN (4-10-10) - ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards rookie Max Gresham posted the fastest time during Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell. The 16-year-old will sit on the...

Max Gresham Takes Pole in ARCA Debut at Salem

SALEM, IN (4-10-10) - ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards rookie Max Gresham posted the fastest time during Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell. The 16-year-old will sit on the pole for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by ApplianceZone.com. Gresham, who had a 15th fastest time in practice, came into the weekend with momentum from his first win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at South Boston Speedway last weekend.

The Georgia native had a fastest lap of 17.266 seconds, 115.719 mph, beating his practice time by more than a half of a second. "This is a surreal feeling. I can't believe that our first time here in Salem, the first time in the ARCA Series, the first time for all of this!" the 16-year-olf explained. "Most of my crew is new to the series also, but my crew chief, Gene Roberts, has been doing this forever. I just can't express how lucky I am to have such a great crew and great crew chief. I can't thank my sponsors enough, especially Gresham Associates and Toyota Camry, for such a great car for me to run. I feel better about the race now. We had a good car there in qualifying, and we got better towards the end of practice today. I can't wait to see what we have for the race tomorrow."

Venturini Motorsports will occupy two of the top-five starting spots. Steve Arpin capitalized on his fast practice session to start on the outside pole, with a speed of 115.518 mph. "The car was awesome. We guessed at a few things, but then we made some changes during practice. We wanted to make one more run on it to see if we wanted to go that direction, but we all sat down and decided to go that way with those changes. And, it drove like a dream," Arpin stated. We were a little bit loose, but you have to be loose to be fast here. We are going to be in good shape. Tomorrow, the race is going to be awesome. The car drove awesome today during practice and qualifying and will be great in the long run. I'm excited for it."

Mikey Kile rebounded from an incident in turn 4 during practice and qualified fifth in his back-up car, with a speed of 114.604 mph. "Considering that I wrecked the car in practice, it was great to put the car up front," Kile commented. "We only had 3 laps of practice in the race car. I'm really enthused with it. It was a little free, but that's the way I like them. Tomorrow, the race car is going to be good. It drives really well, and it turns real well. I always race better than I qualify, so it's going to be fun with a top-five starting spot. I look forward to the race."

Joey Coulter, fastest in practice, had a solid effort and a fast lap of 115.451 mph. Coulter will start the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by ApplianceZone.com in the third spot. "I'm happy with our third position in qualifying. Every time I've qualified, we've been like third or fourth. That Max kid, for never running before, that's pretty impressive. I'm looking forward to the race. I think we are going to race really well. During practice, we were setting up for the race, not qualifying, so I think it was a good run. I definitely feel good about tomorrow. Last time, we set the pace for the race really well, and it feels about like we did last time we were here, so I think it will be good."

Frank Kimmel, who has nine ARCA victories at Salem, will start in the fourth position on Sunday. Kimmel looks to win on Sunday and get one step closer to the all-time win mark of 79 wins. "You always want to qualify fastest, but that's the best we've qualified here in a long time," commented the ARCA veteran. "With this new set-up, we are pretty encouraged. I knew we could run fast for one lap, but I hope we can run fast for a long time."

Roush Fenway Racing development driver Chris Buescher, Penske Racing development driver Dakoda Armstrong, Cunningham Motorsports driver Tom Hessert, Palm Beach winner Justin Marks and ARCA rookie Timmy Hill round out the top-10, respectively. Terry Jones, Bryan Silas, Tim George Jr., Brandon McReynolds and Patrick Sheltra will start in the top-15.

-source: arca

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Justin Marks , Bryan Silas , Tim George Jr. , Patrick Sheltra , Terry Jones , Steve Arpin , Mikey Kile , Joey Coulter , Dakoda Armstrong , Brandon McReynolds , Max Gresham , Timmy Hill , Chris Buescher
Teams Team Penske , Roush Fenway Racing