(SALEM, Ind. – April 26, 2014) – Justin Boston is getting the hang of qualifying. The driver of the No. 25 ZLOOP Computer & Recycling Toyota captured his second straight Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell Saturday and will start up front for Sunday’s Federated Auto Parts 200 presented by Crunch’N Nutter.
“There are a lot of good cars here,” Boston said. “They had me nervous all through qualifying. I went out fourth and had to wait.”
Boston captured his third straight pole at Salem Speedway and fourth career pole. He also captured the pole at Mobile in the last ARCA Racing Series race.
“I felt like I left a little on the table this year,” Boston said. “Thankfully, Kevin Reed everybody had the ZLOOP Camry dialed up.”
The race is at 2 p.m. Sunday at the .555-mile historic speedway.
Grant Enfinger had the second-fastest time and will start on the outside pole in the Motor Honey-Casite Ford. Boston’s Venturini Motorsports teammate John Wes Townley qualified third in the Zaxby’s Toyota, Mason Mitchell fourth and Tom Hessert fifth. Ken Schrader will start Sunday’s race from the sixth spot in the Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet.
Hessert, who will be behind the wheel of the No. 77 Caregard-Axiom Warranty.com Dodge, is a two-time winner at Salem, including last year’s spring race.
“The Cunningham guys did a good job of getting the car ready,” he said. “The car was a little better in qualifying than it was in practice. We had a nice pick up of time. It’s going to be a great race. It’s always been a good track for us.”
Mitchell, in the No. 98 Thermal Technology Services Ford, is one of several teams to test at Salem. He said that test should pay off come race time.
“We focused on long runs and tire ware is so important here,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll have some long runs here and our car will be there at the end.”
Owensboro, Kentucky resident Blake Hillard qualified ninth in the No. 10 Mach 5 Racecars & Parts Chevrolet.
Kyle Benjamin, winner of the Fall race at Salem, will start 11th. It’s his first race at the track for the Roulo Brothers.
Josh Williams will make his season debut from the 13th spot in the Southwest Florida Cable Construction Chevy.
The last driver to win three consecutive pole’s at Salem Speedway was Frank Kimmel, who won three straight in the early 2000s. Kimmel won the pole for the fall race in 2000 and both pole’s in 2001. Pole qualifying for the first race in 2002 was rained out, but Kimmel won the next two.
During Saturday’s qualifying, Kimmel brushed the wall in turn four on his first lap, sending his Win-Tron team members scrambling to work on the car. Kimmel, in the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota, is gunning for his 10th all-time win at Salem Speedway. To win his 10th, he’ll have to come from the back of the field.
“I’m not worried about the car,” Kimmel said. “The guys will figure it out. We’ll race them hard tomorrow.”
Boston hopes to turn around his luck. He starts the Federated Auto Parts 200 presented by Crunch’N Nutter in 20th place in the driver point standings.
“Our goal is to be there at the end,” he said. “If we are, we're going to have the speed to win the race. That's what our goal is.”
- By Doug Donnelly, arcaracing.com