By Joe Dunn
On a blistering hot and sunny day at Nashville Superspeedway, Brad Coleman, subbing for Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota went out fourth and set a fast speed of 157.772 to sit on the provisional pole for the Federated Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series event. Through 27 cars, it appeared that Coleman had the pole locked in, but it was that 28th car, Justin Allgaier, in the No. 12 Penske, Verizon Wireless Dodge who knocked him off.
Turning a fast lap of 158.063, Allgaier went to the top of the board and was never challenged. A smiling Allgaier made his way, accompanied by his wife Ashley for photos and congratulations. “This has always been a fun race track for me,” said an elated Allgaier “ I just love this place. It was a great qualifying run.” He was quick to lend credit to his team, “ The Verizon Wireless guys did a great job. Yesterday in practice, we had an awesome car. Now we just have to go for that Sam bass guitar.”
The three double duty drivers, did not fair as well, as only Brad Keselowski made it to Nashville yesterday for practice. Carl Edwards will roll off seventh, while Paul Menard starts tenth, and Keselowski starts a disappointing twenty-fourth.
Of the go or go home cars Kevin Lepage will miss the race, as will the biggest surprise of the day, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Stenhouse spun on the backstretch on his first lap and returned to the start finish line to retry the lap. Unfortunately, one of the roof flaps remained locked open and allowed him to turn in a speed of only 151.372, the slowest in the field. A very disappointed Jack Roush was seen headed for the garage, in what appeared to be a very bad mood.
Tennessee native Trevor Bayne will start third in the Diamond- Waltrip racing No. 99 Out Pet care Toyota, while fellow Tennessean Willie Allen starts twenty ninth in the No. 05 31W Insulation/Goodall Homes Chevrolet.
Driver changes of note include Scott Riggs in the RCR No. 21 Zaxby’s Chevrolet, yet another replacement for John Wes Townley who has been MIA since Phoenix. Team officials still refuse to comment on the status of Townley. Mike Bliss, fills in for Kevin Harvick in the No. 33 Charter Cable Chevrolet, while Matt DiBenedetto pilots the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Toyota, normally driven by Joey Logano or Denny Hamlin, this week with Muscle Milk sponsorship.
By Joe Dunn