Cronin Jr., Salama Take Poles for Phoenix Twin 200s PHOENIX, Ariz. (April 8, 2004) -- Mike Cronin Jr. and Don Salama took the poles for the Grand-Am Cup Series Phoenix Twin 200s during qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday ...
Cronin Jr., Salama Take Poles for Phoenix Twin 200s
PHOENIX, Ariz. (April 8, 2004) -- Mike Cronin Jr. and Don Salama took the poles for the Grand-Am Cup Series Phoenix Twin 200s during qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday afternoon. Cronin ticked off a 1:07.412 lap at 79.136 mph around PIR's 1.51-mile road course, shaving more than a second off of the Grand Sport track record set by Alejandro Lince in 2002. Salama recorded a 78.703 mph lap in 1:09.627, besting John Schmitt's Sport Touring record by more than a half second.
Cronin will start the Unitech Racing No. 33 Nissan 350Z on the pole in tonight's Phoenix Grand Sport 200, scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
"The track seemed to be really good. It was a lot of fun. Right now the weather is nice, but it will be nice and cool tonight," Cronin Jr. said. "I'm real happy with the way the car worked. We just have to get the other car (No. 23) back together and make it happen."
Unitech Racing's celebration of its first pole was cut short due to the damage suffered by the team's other car - the No. 23 Nissan - during the qualifying session. Blake Rosser was at the wheel of the Nissan when it lightly grazed the outside wall in turn four of the oval track, causing it to slide down the track and hit pit wall. The black flag brought out by the incident resulted in the 15-minute qualifying session being cut short.
Craig Stanton will lineup beside the No. 33 Nissan on the front row in TheRaceSite.com Racing No. 44 Porsche 996 he co-drives with Terry Borcheller, who he shares the lead with in the Grand Sport points standings. Stanton turned a 1:08.534 lap at 79.318 mph during qualifying. The Doncaster Racing No. 91 Porsche of Greg Wilkins and the Schuitemaker Motorsports No. 35 Nissan of Michel Schuitemaker will make up the second row of the grid.
Salama picked up his first pole of the season at the wheel of the Turner Motorsports No. 35 BMW 330i during qualifying for Saturday afternoon's Phoenix Sport Touring 200.
"We've were working on set-up yesterday, and the car ended up being perfect for the midday heat of today," Salama said. "I was able to do one fast flyer. I couldn't have asked for a better car. The conditions tomorrow will be about the same as today. I think we have the right set-up, and we won't make any changes. It's all about fuel strategy and doing that properly. We'll have a great race, I think."
Chuck Goldsborough picked up the outside pole position in the Team Lexus No. 2 Leuxs IS300 with a 1:10.074 lap at 77.575 mph. David Haskell will start the SpeedSource No. 70 Mazda RX-8 on the second row along side Bob Beede in the Bill Fenton Motorsports No. 27 Acura RSX-S.
The first of the Grand-Am Cup Series Phoenix Twin 200s will get underway at 6 p.m. tonight with the Grand Sport race. The Sport Touring cars will take to the track on Saturday afternoon at 2:15 p.m., immediately prior to the Rolex Sports Car Series Food City 250.
Tickets to this weekend's event are available online at www.phoenixraceway.com or at PIR's ticket office. For additional information on the Grand-Am Cup Series, visit www.grandamerican.com. The Phoenix Twin 200s will be broadcast on SPEED Channel on Sunday, April 18 at 6 p.m. ET.