CHAMPCAR/CART: Gordon and Castroneves grab poles

Skip Barber trained drivers Jeff Gordon and Helio Castroneves garnered the pole positions for the their respective races on Sunday, leading a wealth of competitive qualifying performances by fellow Skip Barber alumni. Gordon captured the pole...

Skip Barber trained drivers Jeff Gordon and Helio Castroneves garnered the pole positions for the their respective races on Sunday, leading a wealth of competitive qualifying performances by fellow Skip Barber alumni.

Gordon captured the pole for the NASCAR Virginia 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va. Equally as important if not more so, Gordon also reserves the right to use the No. 1 pit box which is a definite benefit given Martinville’s C-shaped pit lane. He will get a clean shot back out onto the track following each of his pitstops which can often mean the difference between the winning and losing.

Helio Castroneves won the fifth pole position of his CART FedEx career on the streets of Long Beach for Sunday’s CART FedEx Series Long Beach Grand Prix, the race many consider to be the crown jewel of the FedEx Series. Castroneves won the coveted spot in a scintillating session, doing so on his final lap of the session. He swiped the pole from fellow Skip Barber alumnus Kenny Brack by half a second as the track that had been damped by an April shower began to dry. Tony Kanaan, starting third, makes the first three spots on the grid Skip Barber trained.

Also in Long Beach, 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series runner up Jon Fogarty qualified second for Sunday’s second round of the Dayton Indy Lights Series. Fogarty had been one of the fastest cars on the track but had a slight miscue with his teammate that dropped him from pole contention. Finally, in Toyota Atlantic qualifying, Joey Hand, who has a Barber Dodge Pro Series start to his credit, will line up on the front row for the series’ season opener. Three of the top six in qualifying are Skip Barber grads with Grant Ryley lining up fifth ahead of Michael Valiante in sixth as he makes his Atlantics debut.

-George Tamayo

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack , Jon Fogarty , Michael Valiante , Grant Ryley , Joey Hand , Skip Barber