LEXINGTON, Ohio — Sam Hornish Jr. rolled to his second-consecutive Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course pole position with two different teams during Coors Light Pole Qualifying on Saturday.
After earning top qualifying honors with Richard Childress Racing last year, Hornish did the same with Team Penske in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford this go-round, posting a time of 1:23.921 (96.863 mph) in the final round and holding nearly a second over the rest of the field.
The pole was especially significant considering Hornish grew up in nearby Defiance, Ohio.
“I don’t get to run very much, so I gotta try to be fast when we do get to run,” Hornish said. “Being here in my home state of Ohio, in a Team Penske car back here, and what Discount Tire does for this whole team … it’s really special. I love coming here; been coming here from the time I was a kid and I’ve gotten to run multiple different kinds of race cars here.”
“I haven’t made it to victory lane yet here at Mid-Ohio, but I’ve gotten to celebrate some poles, so I can enjoy that. I feel like I’m really good through the back section of the track right now, which is what I generally tend to work on.”
Elliott Sadler joins Hornish on the front row, despite being a distant second with a time of 1:24.870 (95.779 mph) in his No. 1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet for JR Motorsports.
Blake Koch put up an impressive effort for Kaulig Racing to slot in third (1:25.052/95.574) on the grid, ahead of fellow XFINITY Series regulars Ryan Reed and Matt Tifft.
Daniel Hemric, Ben Kennedy, Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer, Brennan Poole, James Davison and Regan Smith completed the first six rows and all advanced through both knockout rounds.
Smith cut a tire at the end of round one and was unable to post a lap in the pole round.
Road course specialist Andy Lally just missed the final round of qualifying, carrying the No. 07 SS Green Light Racing entry to its season-best qualifying effort of 13th after a lap of 1:25.353 seconds (95.237 mph).
Other notables eliminated in round one were Ross Chastain (14th), Ryan Sieg (16th), Brendan Gaughan (17th), Casey Mears (19th) and defending race winner Justin Marks (21st).
Three-time season winner William Byron timed in a distant 23rd, while fellow young gun Brandon Jones was 25th.
The Mid-Ohio Challenge takes the green flag at 3:30 p.m. ET, live on NBCSN, the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
Full qualifying results can be viewed on the next page…