ANDERSON – Defending Lucas Oil Little 500 presented by UAW champion Tyler Roahrig shattered the existing qualifying record.
After the rain showers on Thursday the drivers had to deal with changing track conditions for CB Fabricating Pole Day at Anderson Speedway.
Roahrig broke the existing one-lap and four-lap records set in 2011 by Aaron Pierce.
He turned the fastest lap at 10.799-seconds and four-laps in 43.477-seconds.
Brian Gerster earned his best ever qualifying spot and will start in the middle of the front row with three-time Little 500 Kody Swanson starting in the third position.
A total of 39 cars took time with the fastest 15 locked into Saturday’s starting field.
“Setting track records were a priority,” Roahrig said following the record setting run. “I was pretty worried because we didn’t get much practice and we couldn’t get a clean lap.
“It wasn’t quite what we expected, running that fast for that many laps,” he said. “I drove it really hard, so I’m pretty proud of that.”
Roahrig said despite the rain the quarter-mile oval “rubbered” up really well.
“It make for a great track, I didn’t expect it to be that first,” Roahrig. “Always good to start on the front row.”
Gerster turned four laps in 44.291-seconds.
“It’s exciting to be starting on the front row,” he said. “It’s an honor to be starting between Tyler (Roahrig) and Kody (Swanson).
“The car was consistent through the whole run,” Gerster said. “We worked hard over the winter and the guys did a great job managing our tires.”
Swanson said he wished his qualifying run was faster.
“I have no complaints,” he said. “I felt like we had a good handle on the car during practice, but the conditions changed.”
Swanson said the team gave him a good car and they have 500 laps (Saturday) to figure it out and keep the car upfront.
Caleb Armstrong, Dakoda Armstrong and CJ Leary will start in the second row.
Emerson Axsom led the strong group of rookie of the year contenders and will start seventh with fellow rookie Ryan Newman starting eighth.
It took a one-lap average time of 11.2-seconds to lock into the top 15, a record for the Little 500.
Former three-time race winner Jeff Bloom posted the 34th fastest time in an effort to make the starting field for the 43rd time.
Nine-time champion Eric Gordon qualified 24th.
CB Fabricating Pole Day Results
1. Tyler Roahrig 43.477
2. Brian Gerster 44.291
3. Kody Swanson 44.333
4. Caleb Armstrong 44.350
5. Dakoda Armstrong 44.381
6. C.J. Leary 44.385
7. Emerson Axsom 44.554
8. Ryan Newman 44.683
9. Derek Bischak 44.697
10. Bobby Santos III 44.724
11. Jacob McElfresh 44.836
12. Shane Hollingsworth 44.851
13. Tanner Swanson 44.951
14. Kyle O’Gara 45.00
15. Jerry Coons Jr. 45.052
16. Isaac Chapple 45.109
17. Davey Hamilton Jr. 45.114
18. L.J. Grimm 45.140
19. Ken Schrader 45.160
20. Brian Tyler 45.296
21. Shane Butler 45.461
22. Aaron Willison 45.543
23. Billy Wease 45.547
24. Eric Gordon 45.581
25. Brady Bacon 45.644
26. Travis Welpott 45.860
27. Bryan Gossel 46.007
28. Tony Main 46.096
29. Larry Kingseed Jr. 46.171
30. Tommy Nichols 46.175
31. Justin Harper 46.271
32. Quintin Saayman 46.929
33. Mike Anderson 47.029
34. Jeff Bloom 47.280
35. Chris Jagger 47.524
36. Doug Fitzwater 48.140
37. Tom Patterson 49.450
38. Scott Hampton (Tech)
39. Dalton Armstrong (Tech)