March 8, 2014 — report by RaceChaser Northeast correspondent Kyle Souza — Photo courtesy NASCAR via Getty Images — LAS VEGAS, NV — Welcome to Sin City, Ty Dillon.
The Richard Childress Racing rookie driver charged to the top of the speed charts late in the final segment of Coors Light Pole Qualifying with a fast lap of 182.278 mph, holding off last week’s pole-sitter Brad Keselowski by just under a tenth of a second to land the pole for this afternoon’s Boyd Gaming 300.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Larson and Brian Scott — all in Chevrolets — completed the top five in the series’ first full, rain-unaffected qualifying session of the season.
The pole was the first in NASCAR Nationwide Series for Dillon.
The afternoon was the third time in series history that the NASCAR Nationwide Series utilized knockout qualifying to set the grid, but the first time the new system was implemented at a 1.5 mile track.
When round one concluded today, 24 of the 40 cars moved onto segment number two, then after that ten minute segment, the fastest 12 moved onto the final and most important segment, the run for the pole.
Matt Crafton turned in a dramatic, last-second lap in the 10-minute second round to lock himself into the Q3 round. His lap bumped Elliott Sadler from the final session.
Other notables to be left out of the final segment included former Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne and NASCAR Sprint Cup regular David Ragan. Even though they did not advance into the Fast Twelve, all will still start in the top 20 later today.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series hits the track this afternoon for the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas live on ESPN2 at 4 ET.