CLICK: Full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying results from Talladega Superspeedway
Tyler Reddick successfully claimed his first pole position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, with a lap of 51.256s (186.827mph) in the final round of qualifying at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway tri-oval on Friday afternoon.
Reddick's previous best qualifying performance in 13 Truck race appearances was third place at Pocono in August. The 18-year-old series rookie has now picked up six top-ten starting grid positions since joining Brad Keselowski Racing at the start of the 2014 season.
Reddick will be joined on the front row for the green flag by Turner Scott Motorsport's Tayler Malsam who was pipped to the top spot by Reddick by a slender 0.031s. It's Malsam's third top-ten start of 2014 and his second in two starts this year at Talladega,. It's his best qualifying performance in 49 Truck outings, one spot better than the third he earned at the most recent Truck race at Las Vegas at the end of September.
Championship points leader Matt Crafton will start from third place in the #88 ThorSports Toyota, putting alongside his team mate Johnny Sauter. Sauter is also Crafton's closest rival for the title with five rounds remaining in the 2014 season.
Friday was the first time that the new 'condensed' qualifying format for superspeedways was used, in which none of the three elimination rounds lasted longer than five minutes. The adaptation to the usual qualifying format was brought in to prevent drivers running at wildly different speeds out on track as they jockeyed for the best pack placement in order to gain optimal aerodynamic advantage.
Reddick's BKR team mate Ryan Blaney will start on the third row alongside Kyle Busch Motorsport's Erik Jones. Jones set the fastest time of entire qualifying session (50.094s, 191.161mph) to top the second elimination round and set not only a new track qualifying record but the fastest-ever qualifying speed in the Truck Series history, beating the previous record held of 187.563mph set by Joe Ruttman at Daytona International Speedway.
Unfortunately Jones couldn't find the same form in the top-12 pole shoot-out stage and instead had to settle for sixth place, but hat was still considerably better than his KBM team mate Darrell Wallace Jr. who had an off-day at the office and failed to progress from the first round, which had been paced by Billy Boat Motorsports' Mason Mingus. As a result of missing the first round cut, Wallace will now have to start the race from 27th place, which is the worst starting position of his Truck Series career.
Neither Mike Harmon nor Milka Duno were able to set times in the first round of qualifying. However with only 36 trucks entered in this weekend's race, no one missed out on a grid spot for this weekend's race.