Stenhouse Jr. rockets to pole at Chicagoland

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has won the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

With his fast lap of 176.916 mph, Stenhouse Jr. captured his seventh career pole in the Nationwide Series and the third of the 2012 season for the Mississippi driver.

Stenhouse Jr. took over the top spot of the qualifying session with 11 cars remaining. From there, the 2011 Nationwide Series champion withstood challenges from Sam Hornish Jr., Austin Dillon and others to win the pole.

Dillon, who’s a past Chicagoland Speedway winner after winning last season’s Camping World Truck race, will start second for this afternoon’s race.

Danica Patrick and Parker Kligerman, who were the two fastest cars in yesterday’s final practice session, qualified thirteenth and fifth respectfully.

Today’s front-row-starters are made up with two of the Nationwide “Dash For Cash” drivers.

Sam Hornish Jr., who is also part of the Dash For Cash program, will start today’s 300-mile race from the third position, while Elliott Sadler will start fifteenth after handling issues in qualifying hampered his run at the pole.

With only 43 cars attempting the race this weekend, every car that took time during qualifying will take the green flag later this afternoon.

STP 300 Starting Lineup: 

1: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

2: Austin Dillon

3: Sam Hornish Jr.

4: Kyle Busch

5: Parker Kligerman

6: Brian Scott

7: Mike Bliss

8: Cole Whitt

9: Ryan Truex

10: Brendan Gaughan

11: Kenny Wallace

12: Johanna Long

13: Danica Patrick

14: Michael Annett

15: Elliott Sadler

16: Justin Allgaier

17: Jason Bowles

18: James Buescher

19: Eric McClure

20: Jamie Dick

21: Brad Sweet

22: Joe Nemechek

23: Jeff Green

24: Mike Wallace

25: Timmy Hill

26: Erik Darnell

27: Jeremy Clements

28: Josh Richards

29: Blake Koch

30: Tayler Malsam

31: Stephen Leicht

32: Travis Pastrana

33: Danny Efland

34: Chase Miller

35: Tanner Berryhill

36: Benny Gordon

37: Tim Schendel

38: TJ Bell

39: Tim Andrews

40: Matt Carter

41: Morgan Shepard

42: Mike Harmon

43: Carl Long