Going out last of 46 qualifiers, Brian Vickers won the pole for Saturday night's Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The No.10 Toyota driver circled the 1.5-mile, banked tri-oval in 30.016 seconds (179.904 mph).
The pole victory was Vickers' second of the season and third of his 85-race Nationwide career.
"I thought I left a little bit in (Turns) 1 and 2, but I definitely got it all in (Turns) 3 and 4," said Vickers.
Starting alongside Vickers was the man that led for most of the afternoon - David Ragan. Ragan's time was 30.085 seconds.
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"Now we have to focus on the race," said Ragan.
Greg Biffle (30.171) and Kasey Kahne (30.190) will make up row two.
While Tony Stewart won the last race, it was Clint Bowyer's second-place finish that helped him put some distance between his No.2 Chevrolet and the competition. The RCR driver, who will start 15th, has built his lead to 112 points over Kyle Busch and 150 over defending series champion Carl Edwards when both drivers had trouble at Darlington. Edwards completed just three laps and an accident stopped Busch after just 101 laps.
But it appears that the trio along with David Reutimann and Mike Bliss will compete for the top-five throughout the season. Bliss' only series win to date came at the 2004 fall race at the Lowe's Motor Speedway when he drove for Joe Gibbs Racing. Add rising start Ragan and youngster Brad Keselowski and you have the makings for a good title chase.
Stewart winner of the last race, and four of six starts in the series, is not on the entry list this week. But that doesn't mean the race is open for anyone to win. Joe Gibbs Racing drivers have won have been victorious in the last six races and eight of 12 this season. With Denny Hamlin sitting in the driver's seat of a JGR Toyota, don't be surprised if they make is seven in a row.
Kahne won the 2007 Carquest Auto Parts 300 and is back to defend his title. Kahne is coming off a win in the Sprint All-Star Race after the fans voted him into the main event. If momentum is a factor, maybe Kahne can find a way to upset the JGR juggernaut.
The race is schedule to drop the green flag tonight at 7:30 p.m. (et).