Record Lap on New Pavement Takes Joey Coulter to Menards Pole Award at Michigan; Race at 5 Today
Joey Coulter, making a special appearance in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards on a week off from his NASCAR schedule, sped to a new ARCA qualifying record at Michigan International Speedway and will start first in tonight's RainEater Wiper Blades 200.
In three prior ARCA starts at Michigan, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series full-timer has never finished outside the top 10, and he'll have a certain chance to score his first Michigan win after driving his qualifying lap in 37.471 seconds (192.149 mph), easily snapping Cale Gale's former track record of just under 190 mph.
Mary Alati, a Michigan-based territory manager for Ansell, gave the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell to Coulter.
With a single lap, Coulter (No. 61 Rip It Energy Fuel Chevrolet) easily beat points leader Brennan Poole to the pole by 0.247 second, or 1.259 mph. Coulter has two career Menards Pole Awards presented by Ansell and one series win - also in Michigan, at Berlin Raceway near Grand Rapids in 2010.
On a week of record-breaking speeds across the board, Coulter's nerves were definitely in action during qualifying.
"It was a little hairy; I never took the throttle off the thing," Coulter said. "It was a heck of a lap. I can't thank everybody at Rip It and Coulter Motorsports enough for putting this car together. (Crew chief) Harold Holly's calling the shots for this weekend, and I don't know what he figures out for qualifying, but he can make a rocket ship. It's a great feeling to me. My dad's team, they've really been getting better and better. I think we've found a good combination and something that's going to work. It'll be great for (teammate) Matt (Lofton) the rest of the year."
Roger Curtis, the president of Michigan International Speedway, picked Coulter to win the RainEater Wiper Blades 200 earlier this week.
Alex Bowman and Ryan Reed will fill out the second row, with Kevin Swindell, Matt Lofton, Kyle Larson, Frank Kimmel, Chris Buescher, and Jared Marks comprising the rest of the top 10.
The full starting lineup is available here.
ARCARacing.com will have more information from Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell shortly.
Tonight's race will begin at 5 p.m., with SPEED airing live coverage and ARCARacing.com featuring live timing and scoring.