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AVONDALE, Ariz. – Cole Custer picked up where he left off in practice and earned the pole position in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West qualifying on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.
Custer, of Ladera Ranch, Calif., recorded a 26.887-second lap on the one-mile oval for an average speed of 133.894 mph to earn his first K&N West 21 Means 21 presented by Coors Brewing Company Pole Award in just his second series start. The time was just .011 of a second off Greg Pursley’s track record set in March at this year’s season opener. The 15-year-old collected a pair of K&N East poles this season and led practice sessions on Thursday and Friday.
Cameron Hayley, who led the all series competitors this year with six pole wins, qualified second with a time of 27.304 seconds (131.849 mph) followed by Michael Self at 27.320 seconds (131.772 mph). Shane Golobic recorded the fourth-fastest time at 27.333 seconds (131.709 mph) while this year’s K&N Pro Series East Sunoco Rookie of the Year Jesse Little in fifth at 27.401 seconds (131.382 mph).
Gray Gaulding, Luis Tyrrell, Johnny Borneman, Pursley and Brett Thompson completed the top-10 fastest drivers in the qualifying session.
Derek Thorn, who will start the race from the 12th position, brings a 16-point lead over Pursley into the season finale. Thorn is in search of his first series title. Top-three starters Hayley and Self are in the championship hunt, as well, and sit 18 and 30 points in back of Thorn, respectively.
An additional spot was added to the field to accommodate the 31 entries into the event.
The Casino Arizona 50 set for a 5 p.m. MT green flag.