SunTrust Racing press release
The No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet Dallara of Wayne Taylor Racing will start Saturday’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season-ending EMCO Gears Classic from the outside of the front row after qualifying Friday afternoon at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington.
Ricky Taylor, whose attempt to tie the series consecutive pole streak was ended at six by Jon Fogarty in the No. 99 Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet Riley at the last event on Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in August, qualified second to Fogarty for the second race in a row but emphatically put the SunTrust car on the front row for the eighth consecutive race and the ninth time this season. Taylor’s lap of 1 minute, 16.605 seconds (106.113 mph) around the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio road course was just a tenth of a second off the pole-winning lap of Fogarty (1:16.504 at 106.253 mph), whose record seven consecutive poles set in 2007 still stands thanks to his effort in Montreal. It was Fogarty’s third pole of the season and the 19th of his career.
“I think one of the most important parts of the weekend just happened because qualifying here at Mid-Ohio is so super-important,” said the 22-year-old Taylor, who will start Saturday’s 2-hour, 45-minute season finale before handing the SunTrust Racing machine off to veteran co-driver Max Angelelli. “I try my hardest every weekend, not just because we didn’t get the pole in Montreal, but because this track is so important for track position. It adds a lot of pressure because you want to get the pole and you want to start in front just so you can try and control the race from there. We definitely had a great SunTrust car today. We improved it a lot and I think it’ll be an interesting race. It’s going to be tough, so I think we’ll have to pull some moves on strategy to see what we can do to get around the 99. As far as the driver championship, we have to try and win the race, as always, and see where that gets us. But one big goal we have is to try and lock down the engine manufacturer championship for Chevrolet. All we have to do there is finish ahead of the 01. All in all, it’s going to be another big day tomorrow.”
Antonio Garcia, who co-drives the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Chevrolet Coyote with Paul Edwards, gave Chevrolet the top-three positions on the grid, albeit almost a full second behind Fogarty and Taylor. Memo Rojas, co-driver of the championship-leading No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley with Scott Pruett, qualified seventh with a lap of 1:18.001 at 104.214 mph. Angelelli and Taylor trail Pruett and Rojas by 20 points in the driver championship while SunTrust trails the No. 01 team by the same margin in the team chamiponship. The No. 01 can clinch the team title simply by taking the green flag at the outset of Saturday’s race. Rojas, slated to start the race in the No. 01 car, needs to complete 30 minutes behind the wheel in order to clinch the driver championship for himself and Pruett for the second year in a row.
In the manufacturer championship, Chevrolet leads BMW by two points heading into tomorrow’s race.