DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A pair of newcomers will lead the field for the first race of Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.
Justin Marks, a rookie driver in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for Germain Racing, won the pole for Saturday’s season opener in the Automobile Racing Club of America series. Marks will be joined on the front row by former Formula One driver Scott Speed
"I can't be more pleased than where we’re at right now," said Marks, who will also run the ARCA race in May at Rockingham, N.C.
"Even if we didn’t start on the pole, we’ve got a good shot at winning this race."
Speed is running a full ARCA schedule with Team Red Bull, which he hopes to eventually parlay into a ride in the Nationwide of Sprint Cup series.
"I am very much a tourist in this sport right now," Speed said.
"There's a lot to learn and I think my experience in Europe and having gone through a lot of the latter systems helped me to learn for myself because at this point my goal is to become a Cup champion.
"At this point, every lap I'm out there doing, I'm doing to learn as much as possible."
Marks' lap at 181.335 mph barely eclipsed Speed's (181.316 mph. Michael Annett was third and last year's race winner, Bobby Gerhart, was fourth.
Ken Butler originally qualified fifth, but his car failed post-qualifying inspection and the was disallowed. Max Dumarey will now start fifth. Reigning series champion Frank Kimmel used a provisional and starts 43rd.