Long Beach: SunTrust Racing qualifying report

SunTrust Team Qualifies on Second Row For Long Beach Grand Prix While Max "the Ax" Brings it Home in Sixth at Texas IROC Long Beach, California (April 7, 2006) -- The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley qualified today on the second row, in the third...

SunTrust Team Qualifies on Second Row For Long Beach Grand Prix While Max "the Ax" Brings it Home in Sixth at Texas IROC

Long Beach, California (April 7, 2006) -- The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley qualified today on the second row, in the third spot, for tomorrow's Crown Royal Grand American Challenge of Long Beach race, with guest driver Jan Magnussen at the wheel. His best time came on the final lap of the first qualifying session with a time of 1:20.255 (88.279 mph).

Luis Diaz grabbed the pole with a time of 1:19.891 (88.681 mph) in the No. 01 CompUSA/Ganassi Lexus Riley during the second qualifying session. Patrick Long took the second place on the grid after posting a 1:20.080 (88.472 mph) in the No. 23 Porsche Crawford.

Magnussen was invited by Wayne Taylor to substitute for him in the cockpit during this weekend's race and co-drive with Taylor's defending co-champion Max Angelelli in the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley Mk.XI. Taylor is concentrating more on team management duties this weekend.

"It was a great job by Jan. It was his first time here and he'd only previously done about five laps in the car, which was at night at Homestead," said car owner/driver Wayne Taylor. "It's a new team, new car, new everything for him. He really did a good job -- very, very professional, very methodical and I think third is a really good place for us to start."

"I'm happy with how things turned out. It's hard not to be," said Magnussen, a former Formula One driver. "My main aim was to get as many laps as possible, just feel comfortable and then see what we could do. I think we achieved that. I didn't hit anything and I like the feel of the car, so I'm very happy. I appreciate the opportunity that SunTrust and Wayne have given me, so I'm making the most of it."

Max "The Ax" was pulling double-duty today when he practiced at Long Beach early this morning, then caught a jet to Ft. Worth, Texas to compete in today's International Race of Champions (IROC) at Texas Motor Speedway, then jetted back to Long Beach. Angelelli finished an impressive sixth in his first IROC race, same as his teammate and co-driver Wayne Taylor did in IROC's Round One at Daytona in February. Nextel NASCAR champ Tony Stewart won the Round Two with nine cars finishing the 100-lap race.

"I really enjoyed the race. There is a lot still for me to learn," said Angelelli of his first oval and first NASCAR-style driving effort. "I felt bad with myself when I tried to overtake (Martin) Truex to take the lead, got impatient, lost the rear and went sideways. I recovered but fell back in the field. When you fall back it is really tough to recover and takes a long time to work your way back up. I am happy with the finish though and I really enjoyed the race."

Angelelli is expected to drive in Saturday morning's warm-up session at Long Beach to get a few more laps on the circuit, although Magnussen will be the starting driver.

The television broadcast of the Rolex at Long Beach Grand Prix will be tape-delayed on Speed Channel on Saturday, April 8 beginning at 9:00 p.m. EDT.

-suntrustracing.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jan Magnussen , Wayne Taylor , Luis Diaz , Max Angelelli , Patrick Long