By Brian Eberly, Contributing Writer
NEWTON, Iowa— Sheldon Creed turned a lap at 131.349 mph to take the General Tire Pole Award for Saturday night’s ARCA Racing Series Fans with Benefits 150 at Iowa Speedway. It was the third consecutive pole award for Creed and the fourth of his ARCA career.
“It’s pretty cool. I think we needed a little momentum and a little confidence,” Creed said of taking the top qualifying spot for the third race in a row. “I’m actually pretty shocked; we were pretty terrible in practice this morning. The guys worked on the car for a few hours there and made some big changes obviously.”
Riley Herbst, Michael Self, Chase Purdy and Zane Smith completed the top-five.
Creed has parked his No. 28 MDM Motorsports Toyota in victory lane twice already this season (Michigan and Gateway) and enters the race at Iowa with a 165-point lead in the championship standings over his MDM Motorsports teammate Zane Smith.
Harrison Burton, Chandler Smith, Christian Eckes, Bret Holmes and Sam Mayer rounded out the top-10.
The consecutive pole streak came to an end for 16-year-old Chandler Smith after he qualified his No. 20 Venturini Motorsports Toyota in the seventh position. Smith was looking to extend his ARCA record after earning the pole award in each of his first four ARCA starts. Smith won the last race in which he was entered, the Herr’s Potato Chips 200 at Madison International Speedway.
Mason Mitchell, making his first start since this race last season, experienced vibration issues on his No. 98 Chevrolet near the end of the practice session. Mitchell will start 23rd after those vibrations remained on his qualifying attempt and he did not make a lap. The Iowa native native won this race in 2015 and is the 2014 ARCA champion. The team he owns immediately went to work on an engine change for Saturday night’s race.
Chad Bryant Racing, formerly Cunningham Motorsports, seeks its third consecutive win at Iowa with the No. 77 Ford. Chase Briscoe parked it in victory lane in 2016 and Dalton Sargeant followed it up at Iowa last season. The team has three other wins at Iowa including Parker Kligerman in 2009, Tom Hessert in 2010 and Alex Bowman in 2012. Driver Joe Graf, Jr. will look to keep that streak alive, rolling off from the 11th position.
In the eleven previous ARCA races at Iowa, there have been eleven different winners.
The Fans with Benefits 150 is scheduled for delayed broadcast on MAVTV with the first showing slated for August 4 at 10 p.m. ET. ARCARacing.com will have live timing and scoring of the race set to begin at 9 p.m. ET and Motorsports Tribune will have post-race stories.