Sparta: Steve Portenga qualifying report

SPARTA, Ky. - Racing a short distance from Roto-Rooter's headquarters in downtown Cincinnati, Steve Portenga put the No. 39 Roto-Rooter Chevrolet Silverado 18th in the lineup for the Kroger 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Kentucky ...

SPARTA, Ky. - Racing a short distance from Roto-Rooter's headquarters in downtown Cincinnati, Steve Portenga put the No. 39 Roto-Rooter Chevrolet Silverado 18th in the lineup for the Kroger 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Kentucky Speedway Friday, July 12. The race is scheduled for Saturday, July 13.

"It's great to have a quality qualifying run for Roto-Rooter at this race," Portenga said. "From the time the schedule came out, this is the race we circled. This is our 'home town' track since we moved our race team to Cincinnati in May.

"Everyone at Roto-Rooter has been so understanding and so supportive of us through the first half of this season. They've been there with us when we struggled getting up to speed in the trucks. We want to put together a run here at Kentucky that will show them we are making progress and we are becoming a top-10 team."

Portenga's fastest lap around the 1.5-mile oval was 33.138 seconds (162.995 miles per hour). Jason Leffler won the pole for the Kroger 225 with a lap of 32.085 (168.303).

Portenga's effort earned him his first top-20 starting position in seven starts. He last cracked the top-20 with a 17th-place qualifying effort in the Ram Tough 200 at Gateway (Ill.) International Raceway May 5.

The Kroger 225 is scheduled for 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT Saturday, July 13. The race is slated for telecast on ESPN and broadcast on the radio affiliates of the Motor Racing Network.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jason Leffler , Steve Portenga