MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Rob Summers shocked the state of South Carolina and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on Saturday afternoon, scoring his first Coors Light Pole Award in 16 years during two-lap qualifying at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
Summers, a Connecticut native whose last pole came on May 6, 2001 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, set a fast lap of 20.028 seconds (96.705 mph) to garner the top qualifying position in his No. 64 Fastrock Electric Chevrolet.
The pole is the first for car owner Mike Murphy on the Tour, a fact that was not lost on Summers after celebrating his qualifying effort.
“Man, that’s so cool for Murph and these guys to finally get a pole,” Summers smiled. “Right off the trailer, we had a great car. We’ve worked all winter and when you have an awesome race car like this one, it makes my job easy.”
Summers added that as a driver, one always wonders when the next strong run will come, after going so long between Tour poles.
“You never know in this game,” he said. “This racing game is a tough game and you can’t take it for granted at all. I stopped running modifieds and went to supers for six or seven years … but to come back to the Tour last year and then to come out of the box like this … we’re really excited, I can tell you that. The team needed this.”
Donny Lia, in the No. 7NY Bardahl Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing, timed in second-fastest with a lap of 20.044 seconds (96.627 mph). The two-time Tour champion is running a partial schedule for TBR this season.
Rowan Pennink carried the legendary Boehler No. 3 to third on the speed charts, followed by young gun Max Zachem and practice leader Shawn Solomito.
Dave Sapienza, Timmy Solomito, Jeremy Gerstner, Matt Hirschman and Ryan Preece completed the top 10.
Four-time and defending Tour champion Doug Coby qualified 22nd after using his first lap to warm the tires, then washing wide up the track on his second lap in an effort to attack the top of the charts.
“It just wiggled really bad in turns one and two,” Coby explained. “We tried to work some strategy there and it just didn’t work out how we hoped it would. It’s a long race, though. We’ll be alright.”
The Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety-Kleen is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start on Saturday evening, with live broadcast coverage on Fanschoice.tv and live updates here on Race Chaser Online.
Qualifying results can be viewed on the next page…