STAFFORD, CT : John Holleman IV, driver of the Midway Mobile Storage Ford Fusion, made his track debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Stafford 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night. Holleman qualified on the pole position for the first time in his NKNPSE career with a time of 19.466-seconds and after he lead the first couple of laps he eventually finished in 11th position.
The open practice day on Thursday saw Holleman finish the day fifth on the overall speed charts and the team with a lot of optimism for race day. Holleman rolled out third for qualifying and with the SK Modified rubber on the race track the idea of pole position that early in the line was not a thought. “It was just an unreal feeling,” said Holleman on his first career pole award. “We went out right after the SK Mods were out there running so we were down about our qualifying draw being on top of that rubber, but actually I think it turned out to help us.”
“Corey [LaJoie] told me on that first lap if it feels okay don’t question the second lap and just put the thing to the floor when you get to the center and hope it sticks. He told me it will stick and that car was hooked up on that second lap. It was very nerve racking to sit there and watch all those good cars go after us. Harrison Burton was that last car to go out and I thought there was a possibility that we could sit on the pole tonight. When they called out the [Burton’s] lap time it was an overwhelming feeling that this happened.”
“The K&N crew has been working their tails off and we have been up to the shop working hard too. It shows people that we have the cars now and we can compete at that level and continue to get better.”
Holleman led the first two laps before he set into a top five pace in the first half of the 150 lap event. Pressure from the 30 car caused Holleman to use his race car more than planned in the early stages. By the second half of the race the car lost the roll in the center of the turn and eventually faded to an 11th-place result at the checkered flag.
“The race was good at the halfway mark as we were still in the top five,” said Holleman on his race. “I am new to this series so I am still learning. I think we used our stuff up a little bit early trying to get by the 30 car because she was racing us really hard. I lit my brakes up 20 laps into the race trying to stay off her and used our stuff up. We learned and will get better from that. The next time we have a good race car things will be different and we will have a good outcome.”
The next event for Holleman in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season is Saturday, July 2nd at Columbus Motor Speedway. Halfway through the 2016 season, Holleman sits 16th in the championship standings.