Tagliani Wins NNS Pole In Montreal
Canadian Alex Tagliani logged a pole-winning lap of 1 minute, 40.865 seconds for a 96.687 mph average at qualifying for Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneunve in Montreal Friday.
The pole was the first in NASCAR for the driver who usually competes in the IndyCar Series.
Sam Hornish Jr. had to settle for the outside of the front row despite turning the best lap in the last qualifying group.
“It took me a little bit of time to find my marks on the course but when came the time to qualify, I felt pretty good,” said Hornish, the best qualifier amongst the NASCAR Nationwide Series regulars. “I made a little mistake in one of the corners of my first lap by riding the curbs a little too much. That probably cost me the pole. I know that JV (Hornish’s teammate, Jacques Villeneuve) rides them completely so I wanted to give it a try but I quickly realized that my car was not set up for that. This being said, a front-row start on a road course has to make you feel pretty good.”
Villeneuve said he was disappointed by his performance even though he achieved the third-best lap of the qualifying session.
“I got surprised by the car which braked much more that I thought it would,” said a dejected Villeneuve. “I braked too early all through my laps and ruined my starting position. At least, I know the car has good brakes, which is a good omen for the race.”
Danica Patrick, with whom Villeneuve had a run-in at Road America, will start alongside the Quebec native on the second row while Owen Kelly (qualifying the car for Kyle Busch), Michael McDowell, Cole Whitt, Ron Fellows, Billy Johnson and Brian Scott completed the top 10. Fellows is the only former winner of the NAPA Auto Parts 200 to take part in the race this year.
Nationwide points leader Eliott Sadler could only manage to obtain the 17th-fastest time.
“It is a little disappointing to start this far back because track position is so crucial on those road courses,” said Sadler. “We’re going to meet tonight with the team to see if we can try to pull a rabbit out of our hat, strategy-wise, in order to make something happen.”No Comment