In just his second NASCAR XFINITY Series start for Richard Childress Racing, Sam Hornish Jr. put the No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet Camaro on the pole for Saturday’s Mid-Ohio Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Hornish was fastest in the opening round of qualifying and backed it up in the second round, setting the track record with a lap of 84.346 seconds at 96.374 miles per hour.
This was Hornish’s first XFINITY Series pole with RCR, his second at Mid-Ohio and eighth career XFINITY Series pole in 113 starts. The pole was made even more special since Hornish considers Mid-Ohio a home track. While this marked Hornish’s first NXS pole with RCR, it was also the first pole for crew chief Andrew Dickeson.
“The fact that we’re here and have been as good as we have been is really just hats off to RCR and everyone that works on the No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet,” said Hornish. “Right off the bat, this morning I was kind of worried about being rusty. It had been a while since I’ve been on a road course. But the car handled good, we made some adjustments and tried to tune some things into that car so that if it rains that will help us out a little bit.”
With rain a possible threat for Saturday’s race, NASCAR is prepared to use wet weather tires if needed. Hornish has mixed emotions about racing in the rain versus racing in dry conditions.
“I’m probably the one driver here hoping it doesn’t rain here tomorrow,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed racing in the rain. They call it, ‘the great equalizer,’ but with the way our car has run so far I don’t want an equalizer for everyone else.”
Hornish led the charge for RCR’s NXS teams, with Ty Dillon starting seventh, followed by Brendan Gaughan in 12th and rookie Brandon Jones in 19th.
Saturday’s Mid-Ohio Challenge is slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET, with coverage on USA Network, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90.