Homestead: Andrew Prendeville qualifying notes

Prendeville Qualifies Fourth at Homestead; How He'll Try to Complete All 67 Laps Saturday For Racing Laps for Best Friends HOMESTEAD, Fla., March 28 - After a successful first PetStop Thursday afternoon at Miami Dade Animal Services in Miami, ...

Prendeville Qualifies Fourth at Homestead; How He'll Try to Complete All 67 Laps Saturday For Racing Laps for Best Friends

HOMESTEAD, Fla., March 28 - After a successful first PetStop Thursday afternoon at Miami Dade Animal Services in Miami, Andrew Prendeville qualified fourth Friday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Saturday's season opener of the 2008 Firestone Indy Light Series.

That's the new name of the group of races in which Prendeville competes in the Best Friends Animal Society No. 5. The series' name was changed from the Indy Pro Series earlier this week.

Now Prendeville will try his best to finish all 67 laps of tomorrow afternoon's Firestone Indy Lights race here so that the Best Friends Animal Society makes as much money as possible from his Racing Laps for Best Friends program. Through a Web site at racinglapsforbestfriends.com, fans make pledges to that not-for-profit animal welfare organization based on the number of laps Prendeville completes in his events. Donations may be made in any amount per lap, starting at 25 cents.

With the great qualifying result, Prendeville certainly is off to a good start here at Homestead. Qualifying results were based on the total time elapsed during two laps of the 1.5-mile oval under the clock. Prendeville ran his two laps in 28.7100 and 28.7573 seconds, respectively, for a total time of 57.4673 seconds to qualify fourth at an average speed of 186.054 miles per hour. He'll start on the outside of Row 2 Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, beside Sean Guthrie. Polesitter Raphael Matos and Dillon Battistini will be the only ones ahead of Guthrie and Prendeville when the 23-driver field gets the green flag.

Prendeville actually had the pole for a bit Friday night until Battistini edged ahead. Matos's and Guthrie's runs came even later in the qualifying order.

"For a little bit I was on the pole, but by the time I got my helmet off I was second, and I ended up fourth," Prendeville said.

"I thought it was a good run; it was a lot better than we did in qualifying here last year," he added. "Last year we started 21st and finished fifth in the race.

"Last year we ran well in a lot of the races but we didn't always qualify well," he said. "This year we really wanted to qualify better, and tonight we did. The RLR/Andersen team is doing a great job."

Prendeville set the fastest lap of anyone in the two practice sessions prior to qualifying to rule those sessions. His fastest practice lap was a 28.6783 for an average speed of 186.413 mph, set in the first practice session Friday.

Now he'll do his best to finish all 67 laps of Saturday's race for those fans who make pledges at racinglapsforbestfriends.com.

Fans can also make pledges at the PetStops Prendeville is conducting this year in the areas in which he races across the country. Miami Dade Animal Services was the first shelter to host such an event, which occurred on Thursday. Fans met Prendeville, saw his race car, and perused Best Friends merchandise and educational materials. Pet adoptions, a rabies clinic and tours of the shelter were also offered. Raffle tickets with prizes of sessions at the Bertil Roos Racing School were also available.

Tomorrow afternoon's race will be covered live on the Internet at indycar.com/pro, and also at 4 p.m. April 3 on ESPN2. All times are Eastern.

Another PetStop will be staged at the SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave. N. in Largo, Fla. from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 3. Prendeville will compete in two Firestone Indy Lights races on the street circuit in St. Petersburg, Fla. on April 5-6.

All "PetStop" shelter appearances are free and the public is encouraged to attend.

"The main purpose of the PetStops are to encourage adoptions and volunteerism at local shelters, to help people become more aware of the work of their local shelters and Best Friends, to provide exposure to the Racing Laps for Best Friends program, and to promote the IndyCar and Firestone Indy Lights races," Prendeville said.

Best Friends' Web site is at bestfriends.org.

-credit: restart communications

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Andrew Prendeville , Sean Guthrie , Dillon Battistini