Lofton and Owens net Daytona front row

Bookmark and Share
Californian Justin Lofton and Daytona Beach native Alli Owens were the top-two qualifiers in ARCA RE/MAX qualifying at the Daytona International Speedway on Friday afternoon. The ARCA season opens Saturday afternoon with the 46th running of the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200. Lofton, 22, cruised around the 2.5-mile oval at a speed of 182.120 miles per hour and Owens was close behind at 181.510 mph. The fast qualifier drove the Lofton Cattle Toyota fielded by David Bean, and Owens was behind the wheel of the Electrifyingcareers.com Toyota owned by Eddie D'Hondt Racing. "The car felt really good," said Lofton. "Driving around here doesn't require too much other than a good handling car. My team has done an excellent job of setting up the car. We used exactly the same set up the team as Bryan Clauson did when he got the Nationwide (Series) pole in July, and it worked again. It was really easy to do, and I don't think we are going out in happy hour. We will leave the car in the impound area, and go relax, knowing we have done the first part of our job." Owens, 20, expressed delight with her rapid run. "We changed engines last night and didn't have any laps on the motor. Going out there and getting the outside pole for the first-time ever is awesome." Teenage sensation Joey Logano qualified third fastest in a Toyota followed by the Toyotas of 2008 Daytona winner Michael Annett and Brian Scott. Five-time Daytona victor Bobby Gerhart qualified his Chevrolet in the sixth spot. James Buescher, Will Kimmel, Craig Goess and Tom Hessert rounded out the top-10 qualifiers. Frank Kimmel, the nine-time ARCA champion, qualified a Ford 24th. The 46th annual ARCA event takes the green flag Saturday at 4:15 p.m. Eastern.