Sparta, KY - Stacy Compton established a new track record for the NASCAR Busch Series cars today at Kentucky Speedway, winning his first series pole with a time of 30.615 seconds (176.384 mph) around the 1.5-mile oval. Stacy ...
Sparta, KY - Stacy Compton established a new track record for the NASCAR Busch Series cars today at Kentucky Speedway, winning his first series pole with a time of 30.615 seconds (176.384 mph) around the 1.5-mile oval.
Compton expressed surprise at the pole speed, after fighting handling problems in practice. "We were good in [turns] 3 and 4, but I couldn't get through 1 and 2 with the bumps there. We changed three sets of shocks and came up with something that got us over the bumps," he said.
Starting outside Compton on the front row for tomorrow's 300-mile race will be the Ford driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr. Hamilton has also been on a roll lately, running near the front of the Busch series field since his team owner, Ed Renzi hired veteran crew chief Harold Holly to lead the team three weeks ago. After a sixth-place finish in their first race together at Dover Downs, the Hamilton/Holly combination looked like winners last week at Nashville, only losing the lead in a late-race pit shuffle and finishing fifth.
Hamilton has moved up the Busch series points chart (from 10th to 8th) since Holly joined the team and Hamilton credited his new team leader with today's performance, remarking: "It's all down to Harold Holly. You need to have the car to be tied down and have side bite and forward bite at this track and it has all three."
Ron Hornaday, Jr. and defending Kentucky race winner (and Busch points leader) Scott Riggs rounded out the top five qualifiers. The highest qualified rookie driver and the fastest Dodge driver was David Stremme in eighth position.
Regan Smith was fastest in the first practice session, but crashed later in the session and had to qualify using his backup car. He could only manage the 33rd-fastest time on his timed run and will start in row 19, using a provisional starting spot.
The Meijer 300 will take the green flag at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday at 8pm EDT.