[media-credit name=”ARCA Racing Network” align=”alignright” width=”170″][/media-credit](LONG POND, Pa. – June 8, 2012) – Alex Bowman, who has won three Menards Pole Awards presented by Ansell this season, led the first practice at Pocono Raceway this morning.
Bowman (No. 22 St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Dodge) appears to be in strong position to start first for the fourth time this year, but for the first time on a speedway. Bowman previously won his poles on short tracks at Mobile, Toledo, and Elko.
Chad Hackenbracht, the only driver to have turned laps on Pocono Raceway’s new pavement in an ARCA car before this weekend, finished the session just behind Bowman. Hackenbracht participated in a Hoosier tire test at the track earlier this spring, just after crews finished work on repaving the 2.5-mile triangle.
Bowman’s top lap of 52.321 seconds (172.015 mph) was slightly faster than the current track qualifying record for the ARCA Racing Series, set by Kyle Busch in 2003 at 170.849 mph.
Points leader Brennan Poole, three-time Pocono winner Frank Kimmel, and Matt Lofton completed the top five for the session, which featured 32 drivers. Hackenbracht and Poole, like Bowman, drove faster than Busch’s qualifying high from nine seasons ago. Lofton and Will Kimmel both suffered damage during the session.
ARCARacing.com will have more information from the first practice session shortly. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell will begin at 2:05 p.m., with live timing and scoring coverage available at ARCARacing.com.