DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – James Buescher, driver of the No. 51 Phoenix Construction Toyota for owner James Finch secured the pole position for Saturday’s Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards race.
“We definitely have a good car,” said Buescher, who is the defending winner of the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200. “The car is really fast. It was top of the board all day yesterday so I knew we had a top-three car. I’m definitely real happy with the car and it should race really good.”
Buescher, who plans on running a full NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule, turned a fast lap of 181.543 mph around the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval. Rounding out the top five were Mikey Kile, Joey Coulter, Dakoda Armstrong and Bryan Silas.
IZOD IndyCar Series star Danica Patrick, who will make her stock car racing debut in Saturday’s Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200, will start Saturday’s race in 12th position after turning a lap of 179.788 mph during qualifying.
“We had about the same qualifying speed as we did in practice and we didn’t drop off at all, which can happen sometimes when you’re the only one out there,” Patrick said. “We were happy about that. We beat some people that were ahead of us in practice. As Tony (Eury) Jr. pointed out to me, ‘You’re going to be able to see the pace car from there.”
Other notable qualifying efforts for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 include Nelson Piquet (seventh), five-time Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 champion Bobby Gerhart (eighth), nine-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel (13th), Supercross legend Ricky Carmichael (14th) and Daytona Beach native Ali Owens (19th).
The Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 is part of a historic racing tripleheader on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, which will finalize the front row for the Daytona 500, will begin at 1:05 p.m. followed by the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at 4:30 p.m.
The Budweiser Shootout, which features the top stars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, is set for 8:30 p.m.
Grammy winners Zac Brown Band will perform at the Budweiser Shootout. The Atlanta-based group will perform a pre- and post-race concert, in addition to the National Anthem.
Friday afternoon: In the afternoon on Friday, rain forced the cancellation of final practice for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 and NASCAR Sprint Cup practice for Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger.
A special NASCAR practice will be held Saturday morning for the eight drivers that did not have the opportunity to take the track with their cars during Friday’s practice session – Derrike Cope, Mike Wallace, Kirk Shelmerdine, Jeff Fuller, David Gilliland, Terry Cook, Michael McDowell and Norm Benning.
Tickets for all Hershey’s Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the 52nd annual Daytona 500, are available on your web-enabled phone at mobile.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.