February 21, 2014 — report by Jacob Seelman for Race Chaser Online — Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images photo — DAYTONA BEACH, FL — Dylan Kwasniewski has had a sensational debut Speedweeks in Daytona Beach.
The NASCAR Next driver and Las Vegas native continued his remarkable run in his first appearance at the World Center of Racing by claiming the pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series season-opener, the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona (1:15 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Kwasniewski, last year’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion, grabbed the top spot with a pole speed of 192.078 mph, edging out his Turner-Scott Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson by one one-thousandth of a second for pole position honors. Larson clocked a top speed of 192.074 mph.
Danica Patrick completed a TSM sweep of the top three positions in qualifying, with Elliott Sadler and Kyle Busch completing the top five qualifiers on the grid in their respective Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camrys.
The session — which was delayed from its 1:05 p.m. ET start time by approximately 30 minutes — was the first for NASCAR’s brand-new knockout-style qualifying procedure. The opening 25-minute segment was interrupted by rain, then officially ended by another storm at 3:50 p.m. ET.
The first, 25-minute stage of the three-segment qualifying session was red-flagged twice, first for an incident when Ryan Reed’s No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford spun out of a pack and into the inside backstretch wall, and second for rain.
Friday’s second practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was cancelled as track-drying continued, with race officials making every effort to complete Nationwide qualifying and conduct knockout qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series later in the day. Camping World Truck Series qualifying was ultimately cancelled and the field set by practice speeds, with TSM teammates Ben Kennedy and Ron Hornaday starting on the pole for the Truck Series event. That race has been moved up to a 7 PM ET start time (FOX Sports 1).
The session also had an official ruling to back up NASCAR’s policy against bump-drafting. Fast laps registered by Bobby Gerhart and Joe Nemechek while in what NASCAR determined to be a two-car tandem were disallowed.
David Ragan, Tanner Berryhill, Chris Buescher, Willie Allen, Matt Carter, Matt DiBenedetto, Carl Long, Carlos Contreras, Clay Greenfield failed to qualify for the 40-car field.