Milka Duno, in the No. 35 CanTV-Milkaway Toyota, became the first female ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver since 1988 to win the pole at Talladega Superspeedway Thursday afternoon.
Duno had the second-fastest time in the Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell but when the time of Venturini Motorsports teammate John Wes Townley was disallowed following post-qualifying inspection, Duno was announced as the pole winner.
"This is fantastic," Duno said following her award. "We have been trying, trying, trying for the pole ever since Daytona. All day, I made my crew chief (Kevin Caldwell) crazy, saying 'what do we need to do?'"
The times of four cars were disallowed. Each of those drivers will start at the rear of the field in Friday's International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250. The race will begin at 4 p.m. (Central Standard Time) and will be broadcast live on SPEED.
Duno is the fourth female to win an ARCA pole award, including Moise, Shawna Robinson and Erin Crocker. Moise is the only other female pole winner at Talladega, claiming two poles at the 2.66-mile superspeedway in 1988.
The rest of the top five include Mason Mingus, Grant Enfinger, Justin Boston and Caleb Armstrong.
Mingus will enter the race second in the championship point race, Enfinger won the pole and race at Mobile earlier this year while Boston and Armstrong are the other Venturini Motorsports cars.
After inspection, ARCA racing officials said the qualifying efforts of Bobby Gerhart, Korbin Forrestor, Mark Thompson and Townley were being disallowed following the post-race technical inspection.
Duno, 41, qualified second behind Townley at the season-opening Daytona International Speedway race and led the first 11 laps before transmission troubles. Townley won the race. Duno had her career-best ARCA finish at Salem Speedway last weekend.
"We are very competitive," Duno said. "This is great. Now, I must go to my crew chief and talk about being better. I have to run the perfect race."
The Caracas, Venezuela driver is one of the most successful female sports car racers in history. She is a qualified naval engineer and has four master's degrees. She has participated in the 24 Hours of LeMans, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the Indianapolis 500. She competed in the American LeMans Series championship in the early 2000s before moving to the Rolex Sports Car Series in 2004.
No female driver has won in the ARCA Racing Series in its 61 year history.
Friday's Int'l Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 is live on SPEED at 5:00 p.m. ET.
|2013 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Event #4|
|Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega Alabama, 5-3-13|
|International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250|
|Official Starting Grid|
|1||35||Milka Duno/Caracas Venezuela||53.652||178.484|
|2||32||Mason Mingus/Brentwood TN||53.787||178.036|
|3||90||Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL||53.805||177.976|
|4||25||Justin Boston/Baltimore, MD||53.946||177.511|
|5||55||Caleb Armstrong/New Castle IN||53.987||177.376|
|6||99||Mason Mitchell/W. Des Moines IA||54.212||176.640|
|7||23||Spencer Gallagher/Las Vegas NV||54.268||176.458|
|8||3||Drew Charlson/New Bremen OH||54.536||175.590|
|9||92||Brennan Newberry/Bakersfield CA||54.549||175.549|
|10||42||Bo LeMastus/Louisville KY||54.558||175.520|
|11||44||Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN||54.645||175.240|
|12||77||Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ||54.657||175.202|
|13||82||Sean Corr/Goshen NY||54.659||175.195|
|14||88||Buster Graham/Lafayette LA||54.783||174.799|
|15||6||Ricky Ehrgott/Valrico FL||54.836||174.630|
|16||68||Will Kimmel/Sellersburg IN||54.856||174.566|
|17||02||Josh Williams/Port Charlotte FL||54.933||174.321|
|18||13||George Cushman/Waterville NY||55.030||174.014|
|19||08||Clay Campbell/Martinsville VA||55.105||173.777|
|20||19||Donnie Neuenberger/Edgewater MD||55.134||173.686|
|21||10||Cody McMahan/Chilhowie VA||55.148||173.642|
|22||54||Matt Kurzejewski/Mansfield PA||55.160||173.604|
|23||69||John Ferrier/Middletown NY||55.425||172.774|
|24||30||Terry Jones/Amherstburg Ontario||55.596||172.243|
|25||2||Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL||55.688||171.958|
|26||34||Darrell Basham/Henryville IN||55.930||171.214|
|27||40||Galen Hassler/Columbia MO||56.452||169.631|
|28||97||Roger Carter/Sunfield MI||56.541||169.364|
|29||94||Barry Fitzgerald/Sykesville MD||56.745||168.755|
|30||15||John Wes Townley/Watkinsville GA||Provisional|
|31||48||James Hylton/Inman SC||Provisional|
|32||22||Korbin Forrister/Cedartown GA||Provisional|
|33||66||Mark Thompson/Cartersville GA||Provisional|
|34||06||James Swanson/Clarksboro NJ||Provisional|
|35||5||Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA||Provisional|
|36||75||Benny Chastain/Tallahassee FL||Provisional|| |
ARCA Racing PR