DiBenedetto Earns Tioga Downs Casino 125 at The Glen Pole in Road Course Debut
By: WGI Staff on 6/5/2009
The Tioga Downs Casino 125 at The Glen pole went to NASCAR Camping World Series East rookie Matt DiBenedetto Friday afternoon at Watkins Glen International.
DiBenedetto, who had never raced on a road course prior to Friday morning’s practice session, posted a fast lap of 74.259 seconds (118.774 mph) in afternoon qualifying. DiBenedetto, from Grass Valley, Calif., was second fastest in practice behind noted road racer Patrick Long and was in the final group to qualifying in the afternoon. Fellow rookie Brett Moffitt had the provisional pole from the third group before DiBenedetto moved to the top of the charts.
The road course qualifying format saw four groups take to the track for 10 minutes apiece and each driver’s fastest lap determined their qualifying time.
DiBenedetto, who drives the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota out of the Joe Gibbs Racing stable, is slated to make just his third career NASCAR Camping World Series East start tomorrow. He won in his last start at Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, N.C., on April 25.
DiBenedetto marked the fifth-different driver in as many races this year to earn the Coors Light Pole Award, and the fourth who is a rookie.
Antonio Perez (No. 12 Chivas/Telmex/Z-Line Designs Dodge), who set the series’ qualifying record at Watkins Glen a year ago, was the second-fastest qualifier on Friday with a best lap of 74.287 seconds (118.729 mph). Defending race winner Matt Kobyluck (No. 40 Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino Chevrolet) was third fastest at 74.314 (118.686).
Rounding out the top five fastest qualifiers on the day were Moffitt (74.428/118.504) and Long (74.554/118.304).
The Tioga Downs Casino 125 at The Glen is slated to take the green flag Saturday at 10 a.m. For event and ticket information, please visit TheGlen.com