Tha Sports Junkies 101

Ragan Wins Pole For NASCAR Xfinity Race At Daytona

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There was a significant amount of lightning as storms moved through Daytona Friday afternoon during the opening round of NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying. Once it subsided, David Ragan made sure nothing in Daytona moved faster than his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Ragan’s lap of 49.904 was enough to win the pole position for Friday night’s Subway Firecracker 250 by .039 seconds. Defending race winner Austin Dillon will join him on the front row. David Ragan was tapped to replace Matt Tifft in the number 18 car for the Daytona race while Tifft undergoes a brain surgery and a subsequent rehabilitation period.

Eric Jones was 3rd fastest, followed by Joey Logano. Series points leader Daniel Suarez made it 3 Gibbs cars in the top 5 starting positions. Qualifying in the 6th position was Darrell Wallace Jr, 7th went to Justin Allgaier, and 8th fastest was Brennan Poole. Talladega race winner Elliott Sadler and Corey Lajoie rounded out the top 10. Lajoie will be making his first start in any series at Daytona International Speedway Friday night.

Ty Dillon and Benny Gordon were the final 2 cars that advanced to second round qualifying, recording 11th and 12th fastest times respectively. Other notable starters include Brandon Jones, who qualified in 13th position and February winner Chase Elliott will roll off 15th.

Joe Gibbs Racing teams continued to be among the strongest at Daytona as they have for most of the year. Ragan was the fastest in the opening round of qualifying and Gibbs Racing Toyotas have won 4 of the last 5 Xfinity Series races. However, Toyota hasn’t claimed a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona since Matt Kenseth’s victory in July of 2013. Additionally, only five drivers will take the green flag Friday night with a Daytona win already on their resume.

Failing to qualify were the cars of Derrike Cope, Carl Long, and Mike Harmon.