Ty Dillon is directly in front of James Buescher at the top of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points standings. And Dillon also will be directly in front of Buescher at the start of Saturday’s running of the 7th annual fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway.
Dillon captured the pole position for Saturday’s race by turning a fast lap of 177.291 mph during the Polk’s Meat qualifying on Friday. Buescher, who trails Dillon by only one point in the series standings, qualified third with a speed of 176.598. That means Buescher will start the race from the second row directly behind Dillon when the green flag waves for the 94-lap fred’s 250 at 3 p.m. Saturday.
“If this isn’t a championship battle I don’t know what is,” Buescher said. “We’re one-point apart and I’m right on his bumper to start the race. Congratulation to (Dillon), but we’re right there with him. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it.”
Dillon, who also sat on the pole for last year’s ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway, said he is not concerned about having the driver who he is battling for the championship begin Saturday’s race lined up on his rear bumper.
“James is a good guy. We have raced each other pretty well all year. That won’t be too much of a worry,” Dillon said. “I just have to worry about beating all 35 trucks. There’s not just one person you race ever week. We’ve got to win races, and that means beating them all.”
Jason White will start next to Dillon on the front row after turning in the second-fastest qualifying lap of the day with a speed of 176.617 mph.
“We always seem to run good here,” said White, who finished fifth in this race last season. “This Ford is really fast. It’s the same Truck we had at Daytona, where we were leading with two to go but couldn’t pull it off. The truck’s been really good all weekend, it drafts really well. We’re really excited about that, and we’re ready to go for tomorrow.”
Aric Almirola qualified fourth with a lap of 176.246, followed by Mobile native Cale Gale fifth (176.165), Kurt Busch sixth (175.684), Todd Bodine seventh (175.404), Timothy Peters eighth (175.394), Parker Kligerman ninth (175.343) and Ron Hornaday Jr. 10th (175.211). Mobile’s Rick Crawford will start 20th after posting a qualifying lap of 174.160.
This will be only the fourth career start on a superspeedway for the 20-year-old Dillon, though he has already experienced success on this track, having won from the pole in last year’s ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway.
“I know this race will be a lot different, but I think we’re going to be great,” Dillon said. “I really enjoy these superspeedway races. There’s only one way to look at it and that’s to go for a win. We’re going to have fun. My guys built a fast truck. It’s just up to me to keep it out front and give the fans something to cheer about.
“We’re hitting our stride as a team. We have a lot of momentum. You never know what’s going to happen at Talladega. So I’m just going to have fun and race like I always do, and hopefully we’ll win.”