LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 11, 2000) - He made it look easy but nothing felt certain for Townsend Bell until the checkered flag waved and the pole position for Sunday's eighth round of the 12-race Dayton Indy Lights Championship at Mid-Ohio ...
LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 11, 2000) - He made it look easy but nothing felt certain for Townsend Bell until the checkered flag waved and the pole position for Sunday's eighth round of the 12-race Dayton Indy Lights Championship at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was officially awarded to him.
Bell, of San Luis Obispo, Calif., earned the pole position in the DIRECWAY Lola based on Friday's quickest qualifying time and new track record of 1:13.809 = 110.133 mph. This is Bell's sixth pole position in 20 career Indy Lights starts and his fourth pole in the last five races. Bell's other pole positions are Portland and St. Louis 2000; and Milwaukee, Portland, and Toronto this season.
"The car was perfect from the get-go," said Bell. "We only had to make a few adjustments all weekend so it made my job easier. We were about three-tenths of a second quicker than yesterday on our first set of tires. We ran a '14.2' on the first set which is pretty good. It all went away when we went to stickers because a red flag was thrown just as we were ready to hit the track on fresh tires. We were set up to run perhaps three or four-tenths faster but we didn't get the chance."
Damien Faulkner, of Ireland, maintained his hold on third quickest from Friday's provisional qualifying at 1:14.733 = 108.771 mph. Geoff Boss, Narragansett, R.I., improved his times from Friday but qualified eighth on the starting grid at 1:15.028 = 108.344 mph.
"I trouble with my left rear wheel," said Faulkner. "We'll have to sort that out. There was something obviously wrong so I pulled off course to avoid getting tagged with a red flag. There wasn't any drive in the car. Someone else caused a red flag so that gave my crew the opportunity to help me get the car back to pit lane."
Weather was hot and muggy with Dayton Tire engineers reporting a track temperature of 115 degrees F., and an ambient temperature of 83 degrees F. Humidity hovered near 80 percent with a dew point registering slightly below 70.
Bell opened the session quickest and was never challenged for the top spot. A pair of red flag caution periods were issued during the 30-minute session but no major incidents or injuries were reported.
Sunday's 34 lap/76.772 mile Indy Lights race around Mid-Ohio's 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course is scheduled to begin at 2:45 p.m. ET. This will be the 11th overall Dayton Indy Lights appearance at Mid-Ohio and it is the featured support event for the CART FedEx Championship Series Miller Lite 200 earlier that day.