Homestead: SunTrust Racing qualifying report

SunTrust Racing: Second with Brian Frisselle (1:13.163 at 113.172 mph) The No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara of Wayne Taylor Racing will start Saturday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season-ending Grand Prix of Miami from the front row after ...

SunTrust Racing: Second with Brian Frisselle (1:13.163 at 113.172 mph)

The No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara of Wayne Taylor Racing will start Saturday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season-ending Grand Prix of Miami from the front row after qualifying Friday afternoon at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Brian Frisselle, who along with co-driver Max Angelelli is eight points out of the series championship lead with only Saturday's 150-minute season finale left on the schedule, clocked a fast lap of 1 minute, 13.163 seconds (113.172 mph) during today's 15-minute qualifying session around the 2.3-mile, 11-turn speedway road course some 40 minutes south of downtown Miami. It was the 25-year-old Frisselle's best qualifying effort since he put the SunTrust car on the front row at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca en route to a third-place finish in May, and was second-best among the 32 car-and-driver combinations entered for Saturday's event.

Frisselle's fast lap was less than three-tenths of a second behind the championship-leading No. 99 Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley of Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty. Fogarty put the No. 99 car on the pole for the fifth consecutive race and the sixth time this season.

"We've got a really good car," said Frisselle, who joined Angelelli as SunTrust Racing co-driver this season and scored victories on July 4 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Aug. 29 at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. "I was surprised, a bit, and I thought it was a good sign for our car, that we got our fastest lap so late -- on lap six. That bodes well for us in the race. I think most of the other guys had their fastest laps earlier than that because of the tire wear issues we are all having to deal with here. So I thought our car was good and we got the most out of it in qualifying."

Gurney and Fogarty need only finish fourth or better to clinch the No. 99 team's second series title since 2007. Also within striking distance of the championship is the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, which qualified seventh today and is 10 points out of the championship lead, two points behind the SunTrust team.

"Our strategy (Saturday) is to win the race," Frisselle said. "We're trying to figure out the best way to win the race. It's going to be a tough race to win because some people who aren't in our position are going to be able to come in and take tires late, take that gamble and have a huge advantage at the finish. We're going to just try to maximize our tire wear and hopefully not give up too much track position in doing that. That's our primary focus."

With the pole qualifying effort, Fogarty now has 14 career Rolex Series poles and becomes the series' all-time leading pole qualifier.

"Once again, congratulations to the (No.) 99 -- they pulled off their fifth pole in a row," said team owner Wayne Taylor, who with Angelelli co-drove the SunTrust car to its last victory at Homestead in 2005 en route to that year's Rolex Series championship. "But our team did a great job. Brian dug really deep today and put the SunTrust car on the front row. It's a tough place to start in terms of track position here because the first three turns are all left-handers. But I think we have a great car and it's great that Brian put the car on the front row. Now, we have to focus on going out and winning the race tomorrow."

-credit: str

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Jon Fogarty , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Gilles Villeneuve , Max Angelelli , Memo Rojas , Chip Ganassi , Brian Frisselle , Bob Stallings , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Wayne Taylor Racing