Pastrana, wins first Nationwide pole at TSS
by LAVONTE YOUNG
TALLADEGA — Travis Pastrana won the NASCAR Nationwide pole at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday afternoon.

This is the first pole for the former Motorcross star in his 17th career NASCAR Nationwide series race. He drove a lap at 176.500.

“It sound like a dream come true. Bringing the guys to the green flag at Talladega, is awesome. So I’m definitely excited,” Pastrana said. “This Rousch Fenway team has worked so hard. Chad (Norris), my crew chief, he’s like, ‘We’ve been putting everything together. Let’s go out there and get this thing.’

“He had a lot of confidence in me and the car, and it’s just awesome to be able to show the work these guys are putting together.”

Pastrana first pole at Talladega also marked car owner Jack Rousch first pole at Talladega

“Anytime Jack is smiling, I am smiling,” Pastrana said. “That’s a good deal.”

Pastrana credited teamwork for making winning the pole possible.

“On the restrictor plate races, it means you went out there and drove a perfectly clean lap and that your car and that your crew and that everybody was working together,” he said. “You picked the right line and did the right stuff. But mostly that you have a great team and a great car.”

Pastrana said he believes that winning the pole at Talladega is a huge accomplishment.

“To lead them to green is something I’ll be able to say that I’ve done — assuming that it don’t get rained out here — and I am pretty excited about this accomplishment. … But as far as something to check off the list, this is really, really, really high on that list, so I’m excited,” he said.

Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet, finished second in the qualifying. This is his seventh top 10 in the Nationwide series .

Danica Patrick finished fourth in qualifying. This is Patrick’s second Nationwide race of the season. She believes running the Nationwide race on Saturday will help her in Cup race on Sunday.

”We are doing it to try to win and we are doing it to get a little bit more practice in before the big day Sunday,” Patrick said. “There is going to be more bump drafting in the Nationwide race, but I think that everything will happen really fast in the Nationwide race because you have such shifts in speeds with bump drafting. I feel like it just sharpens your instincts and it sharpens you up out on the track and gets you ready for and more prepared for the next day.”

Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 Angus Ford finished third. This is Bayne’s second top 10 start at Talladega and this is sixth top 10 start in eight races.

Justin Aligaier finished fifth, while Nationwide points leader Sam Hornish Jr. finished sixth. Elliott Sandler was seventh, Brian Scott eighth, Kurt Busch ninth, and Joey Coulter 10th.

For the second straight day, John Wes Townley’s time was disqualified after failing inspection.

© 2013