Allmendinger's First NSCS Pole Highlights Ford Qualifying Strength In All Series This Weekend
The weekend couldn’t have started any better for Ford Racing, which has seen its drivers capture four number one qualifying spots in four different series with a fifth being a real possibility by the end of the day.
“It is great to be a Ford fan right now with a day like today. To be able to pick up the newspaper or go online and see that in any major racing series Ford has the No. 1 spot is a great feeling,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports. “We have great momentum right now, including our product and sales, and putting four Fords on pole today just adds more momentum to the Ford story.”
Ford’s run started in Birmingham, AL, where Joe Foster and Ricky Taylor tamed the Barber Motorsports Park road course. Foster took his No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports/Bayshore Recycling Ford Mustang Boss 302R to the top spot for today’s Barber 200 in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge while Taylor captured his first pole by putting the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Ford Dallara up front for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Porsche 250 in the Daytona Prototype division.
The Blue Oval pole streak continued at Phoenix International Raceway, where Carl Edwards won the NASCAR Nationwide Series pole in his No. 60 Copart Ford Fusion. Edwards ended up finishing sixth in last night’s Bashas’ Supermarket 200 and sits second in the series standings.
But the crowning achievement came later in the evening when Ford driver AJ Allmendinger captured the first pole of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in the famed No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Fusion, sponsored by Insignia/Best Buy. Allmendinger, who is in his first year driving stock cars with Ford, will start tonight’s Subway Fresh Fit 600 from the top spot after a lap of 134.675 mph.
“It is exciting to get that first pole. It is a small victory, but it means so much to this race team and me. In this sport, it is all about confidence,” said Allmendinger. “To know we have a good car and to go out there and back it up in qualifying is great. We seemed to be just missing it a little bit each week, so to go out there and get the job done is a big deal.”
The weekend could end up with fifth number one qualification if John Force can hold onto the top spot in Houston, where this weekend’s O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals are taking place. Force is currently the provisional top qualifier after getting his Castrol Ford Mustang Funny Car down the strip in the second-fastest 1,000-foot time ever with a 4.021 in Friday’s opening day of qualifying.