- Last Updated on 04:12 PM 08/24/13
- BY Joe Chandler
ALTON — Dylan Kwasniewski made history at VIRginia International Raceway Saturday afternoon, winning the pole position for the first-ever NASCAR sanctioned race at the legendary road racing facility.
Kwasniewski, driving a Chevrolet, toured the 2.25-mile VIR North Course in a time of one minute and 29.403 seconds for an average speed of 90.600 mph, edging Toyota driver Bryan Ortiz, whose qualifying lap of 89.956 mph was .639-second off of Kwasniewski's top lap.
"It was petty hairy," Kwasniewski said of his qualifying lap.
"Both of my hands were shaking. I thought I was going to wreck a little bit coming onto the (front) straightaway. You've got to push it like that to get such a fast lap."
Kwasniewski said he thought the track conditions we going to change quite a bit between the end of the morning's practice session and the start of afternoon qualifying.
"The track is a bit more slick," he said, " but you've just got to handle it.
Gray Gaulding, a graduate of the PASS South Super Late Model Series, had the mark to beat after the second group of cars completed their qualifying run under NASCAR's road-race qualifying format. Kwasniewski said he knew he had to push his car to top Gaulding's mark.
"You've got to push it as far as you can," Kwasniewski pointed out.
"At the same time, I didn't want to flat-spot the tires and didn't want to push it so hard that I went off of the track. I knew my limits."
Daniel Suarez of Mexico qualified third with a lap of 89.909 mph with Brett Moffitt in a Toyota (89.832 mph) and road racer Andrew Ranger of Canada (89.800 mph) rounding out the top five qualifiers.
OTHER VIR NOTES
Mark Furcini of Phoenix, AZ won the first of Saturday's two Dixie Cup stock car races at VIR, edging Ken Morgan of Clarksville in the 15-lap race. John Morgan of Halifax finished third.
Kwasniewski led the series' final practice session Saturday morning with a lap of 89.957 mph, edging Bryan Ortiz by .066-second. Daniel Suarez was third-fastest and trailed the leader by .277-second.
Former NASCAR Whelen All American Series National Champion and South Boston Speedway Track Champion, Peyton Sellers, was 16th fastest in the 26-car field.
Sam Hunt of Midlothian, a sporadic competitor in the NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division at South Boston Speedway and one of five Virginians in the field, qualified 18th after he and his team spent most of the time between practice and qualifying repairing the car's transmission, which had jammed itself in third gear.
Blake Stallings, a regular competitor in the Limited Sportsman Division at South Boston Speedway, was spotting for Hunt during Saturday's race.
Peyton Sellers of Danville, a former NASCAR Whelen All American Series National Champion, encountered trouble during qualifying and posted no qualifying team, leaving him to start last in the 26-car starting field for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.