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Hornish takes pole for NNS at Chicagoland

Jul 21, 2013, 12:45 PM EDT

Sam Hornish Getty Images

Sam Hornish Jr. claimed the pole position for this afternoon’s NASCAR Nationwide Series STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway after putting together a lap at 178.341 miles per hour in the No. 12 Penske Racing Ford.

Hornish, a two-time winner at Chicagoland in his previous life as an IZOD IndyCar Series driver, will look to take the NNS championship lead this afternoon over Regan Smith, who sits just five points ahead of him in the standings.

Joining him on the front row will be Elliott Sadler, who secured second place on the grid with a lap at 178.265 miles per hour. Row 2 will be made up of Austin Dillon (177.912) and Matt Crafton (177.667), followed by last week’s Sprint Cup winner at New Hampshire, Brian Vickers (177.591) and Travis Pastrana (177.620).

Hornish’s teammate, Joey Logano, the sole Sprint Cup driver in today’s NNS field at the 1.5-mile oval, will roll off seventh (177.497). As for JR Motorsports’ Smith, he’ll have to make up some ground after posting the 13th-quickest time (176.200).

Other notables from qualifying include Joey Coulter (driving the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota that has won seven times in NNS this season with Kyle Busch) in 15th, Illinois native Justin Allgaier in 16th and buzz-worthy rookie Kyle Larson in 22nd.

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