Nelson Piquet Jr. powers through turn six at Road America on his way to setting a track record. [Jon Kanter Photo]
Piquet Jr. On Pole At Road America
by John Wiedemann
Elkhart Lake, WI - June 23, 2012 - Jacques Villeneuve had the pole position for just a moment until Nelson Piquet Jr. crossed the line just behind him with a quicker lap, a track record lap at Road America. Piquet Jr. ran his pole winning lap in 133.66 seconds with an average speed of 109.516 mph.
Qualifying for the Sargento 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series Coors Light pole award took place Saturday morning at the 4.048 mile Road America road course.
The pole for the Sargento 200 is the first career NASCAR Nationwide Series pole for Piquet Jr., and his first top ten start this season.
Going out in groups based on the previous day's practice speeds, the fast group of Villeneuve, Piquet Jr., Max Papis, Michael McDowell, Ron Fellows, Sam Hornish Jr. and Miguel Paludo took to the course last.
Villenueve crossed the line first in the group setting quick time in the Penske Racing Discount Tire Dodge. Piquet Jr. crossed the line just seconds later and set the track record in his Qualcomm/Autotrac Chevrolet. McDowell in the Pizza Ranch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota jumped up to second followed by Fellows in the JR Motorsports AER Manufacturing Chevrolet. Villeneuve's time dropped to fourth best with Max Papis fifth in the Richard Childress Racing Menards Chevrolet.
Brian Scott, racing the Joe Gibbs Racing Dollar General Toyota will start sixthin today's race. Justin Allgaier, Sam Hornish Jr,, Paludo and Danica Patrick rounded out the top ten starters.
Nationwide Series points leader Elliott Sadler will start thirteenth. Cole Whitt was the fastest qualifying rookie setting the 14th fastest time in his JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Double-duty driver Kurt Busch, running both at Road America and Infinion Raceway in the Sprint Cup Series race, will start 22nd. Local racer Bill Prietzel will start 36th in his R3 Motorsports Chevrolet.
The Sargento 200 at Road America presented by Menards is scheduled to take place this afternoon at 3:30pm eastern. The race distance is 50 laps.