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Briscoe captures pole at Madison, fourth of the season

MADISON, Wis. (June 18, 2016) – ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship leader Chase Briscoe put another Menards Pole presented by Ansell up on the short track board Saturday afternoon at Madison Int’l Speedway.

Briscoe, in the No. 77 Big Tine-Cunningham Motorsports Ford composite car, circled the Madison half-mile in 18.142 seconds, an average speed of 99.217 mph. It was Briscoe’s fourth pole award of the season, all on short tracks, and every one so far at that - Nashville, Salem, Toledo and Madison.

Briscoe had never seen Madison until he arrived at the track Saturday morning.

“Honestly, I’m not sure how we pulled this one off,” Briscoe said. “I’ve been struggling all day trying to figure this place out. It’s a little slower than the other short tracks I’ve been on…very line dependent…very technical.

“I like the track a lot…I just haven’t figured it out yet. I have no idea how to pass here but hopefully we’ll figure it out tomorrow. We’ve been really tight all day. The guys at Cunningham Motorsports have worked really hard on this Big Tine Ford Fusion. Got it freed up enough for qualifying. Hopefully, it’ll be good in the race tomorrow.”

Briscoe got very close to Alex Bowman’s one-lap track record of 18.093 seconds set back in 2012.

Kyle Weatherman, in the No. 98 Mason Mitchell Motorsports steel bodied Chevrolet, was second fastest overall at 18.205 (98.875 mph).

“I think the steel cars can still run with these composites, at least on the short tracks,” Weatherman said.

Steel body cars must weigh at least 100 pounds more than the composite cars.

“They still have really good long run speed and I think they can definitely run with the composites, especially if we see long runs tomorrow. I just want to thank Mason Mitchell, Russ and all the guys at Mason Mitchell Motorsports…they worked their butts off to get this car ready to come up here. I couldn’t be happier with the car.”

Nicole Behar, in her ARCA Racing Series debut, qualified third in the Venturini Motorsports No. 55 TRD Toyota. Behar stopped the clock at 18.419 seconds (97.725 mph).

“I’m really happy about that,” Behar said.

“That’s my best ever qualifying run in these heavy cars. The biggest thing I learned today was not to overdrive the car. The first lap I went way too easy, and the second I got going better…sort of met in the middle. Just want to thank Venturini Motorsports for this great opportunity; I’m really excited for the race. I’ve always been decent on the longer runs and I think we’re going to see that tomorrow.”

Behar’s crew chief will be Billy Venturini. She’ll have some quality help in the spotter’s stand too with Frankie Kimmel spotting for the Spokane, Washington rookie.

Briscoe’s teammate Will Kimmel qualified fourth at 18.421 seconds (97.715 mph) in the No. 22 Cunningham Motorsports-E3 Spark Plugs Ford.

Fifteen-year-old Christian Eckes qualified fifth in the No. 15 New York Bus Sales Toyota for Venturini Motorsports at 18.457 seconds (97.524 mph).

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