April 30, 2021
QUALIFYING: Matt Swanson earns first Mayhew Tools Pole at Stafford
A NASCAR.com release
STAFFORD, Conn. — Matt Swanson has ‘Ole Blue’ in a familiar spot, even if it’s entirely new to him.
The 21-year-old from Acton, Massachusetts, earned his first career Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Award Friday in qualifying for the evening’s NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway.
While Swanson is looking for his first tour win, the No. 3 Propane Plus/Jericho Performance Chevrolet is one of the iconic rides in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour history. The Boehler family car won the first Spring Sizzler in 1972 with driver Fred DeSarro.
It was Swanson’s 75th career start. His previous best qualifying effort on the tour was a fourth, while his best at Stafford was a fifth in the 2019 Spring Sizzler in which he wound up out of the race after just 51 laps with a power steering issue.
He had a qualifying lap of 18.008 seconds (99.956 mph) Friday, and held on as Jon McKennedy – who was fastest in practice – went out last and qualified second at 18.051 (99.717).
Craig Lutz qualified third at 18.099 (99.453).
Doug Coby was fourth and Timmy Solomito fifth.
Anthony Nocella, Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale, Tyler Rypkema and Andrew Krause rounded out the top 10.
NASCAR Cup Series driver and former Spring Sizzler winner Ryan Preece qualified 11th, and defending tour champion Justin Bonsignore will start 15th.
The NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler is slated to go green shortly after 8 p.m., and fans can watch on TrackPass on NBC Gold