ROCKINGHAM — CJ Faison made his way around the track after his qualifying run thinking he didn’t have a chance to grab the pole.
“I thought the car was too loose,” Faison said. “I pulled into the pits disappointed in my run.”
He was wrong.
Faison will start today’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season finale from the front after zooming around Rockingham Speedway in a time of 24.528 to edge Darrell Wallace Jr by .011 seconds. Coleman Pressley will start third, followed by Corey LaJoie and Brett Moffitt.
LaJoie, who will start fourth, lost the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East points lead after being penalized 25 points for modifications to his carburetor at last weekend’s race in Greenville, S.C. LaJoie had claimed the checkered flag for the fifth time this season, before failing the inspection.
His appeal was unanimously denied Thursday by a National Stock Car Racing Appeals panel. In addition to losing 25 driver points, the car’s owner, Randy LaJoie, was stripped of 25 owner’s points and Ron Otto, the crew chief, was hit with a $5,000 fine and suspended until it is paid as well as placed on probation for the next NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event.
Because of the penalty, LaJoie fell from first to third, while Kyle Larson now sits atop the standings with a 10-point lead over Moffitt and 19 over LaJoie.
Even though he had never taken a lap at “The Rock” until Thursday’s practice, Faison believes he has a car which can keep him out front.
“I got the car and got the crew,” Faison said. “It’s going to be hard to get some sleep tonight.”
Bassett to start out front
ROCKINGHAM — Dillon Bassett isn’t out completely out of the UARA-STARS title picture, but he needs a great deal of help to overcome a 71-point deficit.
But Bassett is doing is best to put the pressure on points leader Travis Swaim this weekend.
Bassett claimed the pole by .033 seconds over Clay Rogers, while Swaim will start seventh.
“We’re not going to give up until the checkered flag,” Bassett said. “I have to do my part.”
In order to grab the UARA-STARS championship, Swaim needs to have a 15th-place finish or better in today’s 75-lap race. Otherwise, Bassett has a chance to wrest the title away from Swaim and become the youngest UARA-STARS champion in history at 15 years of age.
Blake Jones, Brodie Kostecki and Scott Turlington round out the top five qualifiers for today’s race, which is slated to begin at noon.
Kimmel earns elusive pole
ROCKINGHAM — For the first time at Rockingham Speedway Frank Kimmel II will lead his fellow competitors to the green flag in the Frank Kimmel Street Stock 75-lap contest.
“I have started fourth and second twice,” Kimmel II said. “The biggest reason is because Chuck Barnes wasn’t here. He’s been on the pole all three years. I have never been great at the one lap qualifying.”
Kimmel II captured the spring Kimmel Street Stock race after starting second behind Barnes.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.