ARCA veteran Mark Thompson, 63, becomes oldest pole winner in Daytona history

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Jeff Gordon might want to reconsider retirement. He’s leaving waaaay too young if you judge his age (43) to that of Mark Thompson.

The 63-year-old Thompson became the oldest pole position winner in Daytona International Speedway history on Friday.

While he’s at an age to qualify for AARP, Thompson instead took the pole for Saturday’s ARCA Series season-opening Lucas Oil 200, covering the 2.5-mile high-banked tri-oval at a speed of 187.336 mph.

A longtime ARCA Series veteran, it’s Thompson’s fourth career pole – and his first in 18 years. His previous poles all came at Michigan International Speedway, twice in 1996 and once in 1997.

Thompson races for former NASCAR star Ken Schrader.

“Winning the pole at Daytona is a big deal,” Thompson, driver of the No. 11 Phoenix Air-Ken Schrader Racing Toyota, said in a DIS media release. “It’s special. There’s probably not another place I’d rather win the pole than here.”

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