Richard Petty Motorsports Coke Zero 400 Qualifying Report
Richard Petty Motorsports
Coke Zero 400 Qualifying Report
2.5-mile, Daytona International Speedway
After watching Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) win its first pole in the NASCAR Nationwide Series earlier in the day, the Sprint Cup teams tried to duplicate the effort during their qualifying session just hours later. But, just as rain helped Dakoda Armstrong win the pole for tonight's Nationwide race, it hurt the Cup teams as rain stopped qualifying after the first round.
Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Air Force Ford Fusion was 15th quick after the first session and that's where he will line up for Saturday night's event.
Marcos Ambrose and the No. 9 DEWALT/Wounded Warrior Project Ford Fusion was right behind Almirola in 18th after the first session. Both teams could have been higher in the next rounds, but rain came and washed out the rest of qualifying. David Gilliland won the pole.
Qualifying was a game of strategy as teams looked to find a group to draft with. It led to many cars going very slow during the session before drafting at speed.
15: Aric Almirola, No. 43 Air Force Ford
18: Marcos Ambrose, No. 9 DEWALT/Wounded Warrior Project Ford
Comments from Aric Almirola after Qualifying at Daytona:
"You have teams, manufacturers and everyone else trying to find a group to draft with. It's a mixed bag and that's what happens when you have everyone at different speeds and on different strategies. But, I'm happy because we didn't have a good practice session yesterday and this was much better for us. Congrats to Dakoda too and good luck to him tonight on the pole."
Comments from Marcos Ambrose after Qualifying at Daytona:
"I don't think anyone hopes to come to Daytona to run around in second gear to qualify. You just can't plan for something like this. We could have been first or 31st out there. You just try to get into a draft and make the best out of it. But, congrats to RPM and Dakoda for the pole today. It shows that we're still a team that is capable of being up front on the plate tracks."