Erin Crocker became the second female driver to capture a pole at historic Daytona International Speedway on Friday winning the top starting position for Saturday's ARCA 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series season opener.
Crocker, behind the wheel of the No. 98 Evernham Motorsports Dodge, qualified with a top speed of 182.219 mph to end Bobby Gerhart's quest for a fifth consecutive ARCA 200 pole.
Gerhart, who owns a record four ARCA 200 victories, qualified second in the No. 5 Lucas Oil Chevrolet with a lap of 181.437 mph. Frank Kimmel, an eight-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion, qualified third with a lap of 180.173 mph.
Crocker now joins Patty Moise as the only female pole winner at Daytona International Speedway. Moise won back-to-back ARCA 200 poles in 1989 and 1990.
"Of course, it's a thrill to be just sitting here - sitting in victory lane - taking pictures at Daytona," Crocker said. "I used to come here when I was younger. It's an honor to say that I sat up on a pole at Daytona in anything. The guys gave me a great car. All of Evernham Motorsports put a lot of effort behind this ARCA program. The guys from the engine shop, the fab shop, some of my guys from the truck team last year, have now worked on this ARCA car. I have to thank them. Me out there qualifying is more them, and not me."
Crocker's ARCA 200 pole marks her fourth career ARCA RE/MAX Series pole, tying her with Moise for the most poles in series history among female drivers.
Gerhart feels confident about his chances in Saturday's race for a fifth ARCA 200 win.
"I think we're in good shape," Gerhart said. "The race will go the way we need it to, I believe."
While Kimmel has yet to register a win at Daytona, he did capture the most recent ARCA restrictor plate race at Talladega Superspeedway last fall.
"It's a great race car," Kimmel said. "It was great at Talladega, so we expected to run good here. It's running well, so we just hope to hang in there."
Tickets for the ARCA 200 and Budweiser Shootout as well as other DIRECTV Speedweeks AT Daytona events are available at www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.