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MENARD WINS O’REILLY AUTO PARTS 300 POLE FOR TONIGHT’S NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE

by TMS Webmaster | Apr 13, 2012

Paul Menard 

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 13, 2012) – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Paul Menard, making his first Nationwide Series start of the season for Richard Childress Racing, captured the pole position Friday for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Menard (No. 33 Menards/Rheem Chevrolet) ran a lap of 181.714 miles per hour (29.717 seconds) to earn the fourth Nationwide Series pole of his career and first since Charlotte Motor Speedway this past October. The effort topped his previous best qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway of third, which came in this event in 2009.

Joining Menard on the front row was another Sprint Cup full-timer Denny Hamlin (No. 18 SportsClips Toyota), who posted a lap of 180.687 mph.

The next three positions were owned by Nationwide Series full-time competitors, including the top two in points. Reigning Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 6 Pure Michigan Ford), currently second in the points, was third at 180.397 mph.

Rookie Austin Dillon (No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet), the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champ, was fourth at 180.156 mph and Elliott Sadler (No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet), the current Nationwide points leader, was fifth at 180.126 mph.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.  (No. 5 Degree Chevrolet), making his first Nationwide Series start at Texas Motor Speedway since 2009, qualified 20th at 176.039 mph. Other notables include Kurt Busch (6th), Kasey Kahne (8th), Brad Keselowski (13th) and Danica Patrick (17th).

The two drivers that did not make the 43-car field were Morgan Shepherd and John Jackson, who were 44th and 45th, respectively.

The Nationwide Series is back on track tonight at 7:30 p.m. CT for the running of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300. Tickets are available for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 on property at the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office or by calling (817) 215-8500.

 

  Pos Car Driver Speed
Row 1: 1 33 Paul Menard(i) 181.714
  2 18 Denny Hamlin(i) 180.687
Row 2: 3 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 180.397
  4 3 Austin Dillon # 180.156
Row 3: 5 2 Elliott Sadler 180.126
  6 54 Kurt Busch(i) 179.491
Row 4: 7 88 Cole Whitt # 179.384
  8 38 Kasey Kahne(i) 178.666
Row 5: 9 30 Steve Arpin 178.619
  10 44 Mike Bliss 178.430
Row 6: 11 11 Brian Scott 178.224
  12 20 Joey Logano(i) 177.883
Row 7: 13 22 Brad Keselowski(i) 177.737
  14 12 Sam Hornish Jr. 177.731
Row 8: 15 70 Johanna Long # 177.731
  16 31 Justin Allgaier 177.678
Row 9: 17 7 Danica Patrick 177.667
  18 43 Michael Annett 176.875
Row 10: 19 9 Ryan Truex 176.546
  20 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr.(i) 176.039
Row 11: 21 8 Kyle Fowler 175.570
  22 10 Jeff Green 175.177
Row 12: 23 81 Jason Bowles # 175.103
  24 01 Mike Wallace 175.001
Row 13: 25 4 Danny Efland 174.740
  26 41 Timmy Hill 174.537
Row 14: 27 40 Erik Darnell 174.452
  28 19 Tayler Malsam(i) 174.368
Row 15: 29 15 Blake Koch 174.345
  30 27 David Ragan(i) 174.233
Row 16: 31 39 Kelly Bires 174.194
  32 42 Josh Wise(i) 174.132
Row 17: 33 87 Joe Nemechek 174.087
  34 75 Scott Riggs(i) 174.087
Row 18: 35 47 Scott Speed(i) 174.048
  36 46 Chase Miller 173.997
Row 19: 37 51 Jeremy Clements 173.700
  38 52 Tim Schendel 172.430
Row 20: 39 23 Robert Richardson Jr. 172.320
  40 50 TJ Bell 171.576
Row 21: 41 24 Benny Gordon # 171.494
  42 14 Eric McClure 170.891
Row 22: 43 74 Kevin Lepage 170.541
Did Not Qualify:
# 89 Morgan Shepherd; # 72 John Jackson. 

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