David Gilliland wins Pole for Saturday’s Coke Zero 400

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 04: David Gilliland, driver of the #38 Love's Travel Stops Ford, celebrates winning the pole position after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 04:  David Gilliland, driver of the #38 Love's Travel Stops Ford, celebrates winning the pole position after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JULY 04: David Gilliland, driver of the #38 Love’s Travel Stops Ford, celebrates winning the pole position after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Mother Nature played a big role Friday at Daytona International Speedway, as rain shortened the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying session for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 and giving a surprise pole to David Gilliland.

Rain has plagued  NASCAR since Thursday when the weather forced the series to cancel final practice. Friday the intermittent rain created havoc during the knockout qualifying session earlier in the day. Halfway through the first round, a sudden rain shower opened up on the backstretch while the cars wer at speed. Before they could get slowed down one car spun causing a multi-car pileup. No drivers were injured but NASCAR was forced to cut that session short.

Friday evening qualifying began with a 25-minute Round One for all 44 cars entered; 24 cars then advanced to a 10-minute Round 2 which never took place. The format would’ve then advanced 12 cars to Round 3, a five-minute sprint for the pole. MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.