Pena On Pole at Showdown
Sergio Pena offered up a big surprise at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Friday as he out-ran several Sprint Cup drivers and captured the pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.
In his first competition in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series race car, the 16-year-old Pena captured the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Light for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown with a fast lap of 18.390 seconds (97.879 mph) during qualifying Friday evening.
Pena, a member of the Drive for Diversity initiative, earned his way into the event by competing in a qualifying race among his three teammates at Revolution Racing in similarly prepared cars from one of Toyota Speedway’s entry divisions on Thursday evening. A run-away win in that run-off allowed Pena a shot at competing on Friday.
Pena’s pole run bested that of 2007 event-winner and Cup Series driver Joey Logano. Logano qualified second at 18.421 (97.715).
The second row for Saturday night’s 225-lap NASCAR K&N Pro Series race will consist of Greg Pursley (18.475 seconds/97.429 mph) and Eric Holmes (18.498/97.308). Sean Caisse was the fifth-fastest qualifier (18.520/97.192).
Jeff Barkshire filled out the third row and the fourth row will consist of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland and Josh Combs.
The two fastest in afternoon practice, Jason Bowles qualified 10th and Ryan Truex ninth. Defending winner of the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown Matt Kobyluck qualified 14th.
Friday night’s action at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale concluded with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series last-chance “Open” race to determine the final six starting positions for Saturday’s feature. Michael Self came away victorious while Justin Philpott earned the final slot.
In the Super Late Model portion of the 2010 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown earlier in the evening, multi-time track champion at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale Rip Michels once again returned to Victory Lane. Michels was challenged mid-race by Alex Haase and Travis Thirkettle, but the two were involved in the same accident on Lap 60. Michels eventually had to hold off Gilliland during a green-white-checker finish to earn the victory.
It was the first All-Star Showdown victory for Michels, a three-time track champion at Irwindale. Michels has twice been runner-up in NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown races: 2004 in the Elite Division and 2007 in the Super Late Model Division.No Comment