Mike Skinner, driver of the number 5, put his Toyota Tundra on the pole for Saturday’s Kroger 200 at Martinsville. It is Skinner's 50th pole as he is poised to be the first driver to make 200 starts in both the Camping World Truck Series and the Sprint Cup series.
Ron Hornaday Jr. came in second in his VFW Chevy with a time of 19.804 seconds, only 0.024 seconds slower than the pole. Hornaday’s truck owner and teammate, Kevin Harvick posted the third fastest time, with Denny Hamlin and Brian Scott rounding out the top five. The full race lineup is available by clicking on this link.
In a post race conference, Hornaday reflected on his qualifying lap. “I didn’t expect to qualify there. We didn’t do a qualifying run. Rick Ren, we just stayed on the same tires and I think we had like 105 laps on the tires or whatever it was and I thought we were terrible.”
Noticing his boss’s arrival, Hornaday continued, “…so we’ll start second and we’ll see if my boss lets me in. I doubt that but . . . I just said that because he just walked in. But we’ll take that. I mean I was really, really happy with that run. It will be the first time in Martinsville I didn’t climb the curb qualifying and we’re going to start pretty good.”
Harvick continued the positive note on starting position, while acknowledging up front is the place to be at Martinsville. “Any time we qualify good here that feels like that is kind of half the battle. You keep yourself from being in the middle of the mess at the beginning of the race. This place gets a little bit rough. It’s a good start for us both, second and third and that’s what we came here to do.”
The truck racer understand the threat Skinner poses coming to Martinsville, as Harvick noted, “You always know (Mike) Skinner is going to be at least a threat for the pole and the win when you come here. He always runs really well here.”
Ultimately, it may come to what is done in the pits. “We’ll just see how the pit strategy plays out tomorrow. I think that’s going to be the key to the race and how many cautions and how many tires and everything that play[s] out there,” commented Harvick.
The coverage of the Kroger 200 from Martinsville is set to begin at 12:30 pm ET with the Set Up show. Weather may play a role as rain is in the area.
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