John Wes Townley earned his first career Menards Pole Award in the ARCA Racing Series, leading a front row sweep for Venturini Motorsports with a qualifying lap of 49.638 seconds (181.313 mph) at Daytona International Speedway.
Townley (No. 15 Zaxby’s Toyota) edged teammate Milka Duno (No. 35 CanTV/Milka Way Toyota), who completed a lap at 180.505 mph for the second position.
“I’m so excited,” Townley said. “It’s great for Venturini Motorsports, and certainly great for Zaxby’s. Tomorrow’s going to be the day that really counts, but it means a lot to be able to come here and get the pole. We just need to come out tomorrow and back it up. The car is working very well in the draft too, so I think it’ll hold up very well in the race.”
Townley’s position up front will give him an excellent chance to improve on his best career finishes, both of which came at the 2.5-mile superspeedway with the Venturini team. He finished fourth in 2009 before a third-place finish the next year.
Duno, who has made 26 ARCA starts but will make her first with Venturini, will start tomorrow's race on the front row in 2nd.
“This is wonderful,” she said. “I now have the tools and the right people around me. This is my first race with Venturini Motorsports, and we’re going to do a super job in the race tomorrow.”
Venturini Motorsports, which last year celebrated its 30th year of competition, has won 26 races across four decades but has never won at Daytona.
Darrell Wallace Jr. (No. 55 Toyota Manufacturing Toyota) gave Venturini three of the top four cars by qualifying fourth, and Justin Boston (No. 25 ZLOOP™ Computer & Electronics Recycling Toyota) qualified 13th. Both drivers will be making ARCA debuts with Venturini.
A final practice at 10 a.m. Saturday will precede the 80-lap Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real - ARCA's 50th race at Daytona - which will air live on SPEED at 4:30 p.m.
Venturini Motorsports PR