IPS: Camara to start from Milwaukee pole

Jamie Camara won the pole position for Sunday's Milwaukee 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race at the Milwaukee Mile. Camara attributed his speed to a successful test at the one-mile flat oval and a new set of tires. Through two practice sessions...

Jamie Camara won the pole position for Sunday's Milwaukee 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race at the Milwaukee Mile. Camara attributed his speed to a successful test at the one-mile flat oval and a new set of tires. Through two practice sessions on Friday and most of this morning's half hour practice session, Camara ran on old tires. "We knew tires would be an issue at this track. I think we had 116 laps on the tires we used in practice. We wanted to see how the car would handle at the end of the race."

After bolting on a fresh set of Firestones, Camara easily moved to the top of morning time sheets, turning a lap 0.2444 of a second faster than Jon Herb.

Herb retained his form in practice and will start on the outside of the second row. "We gave it everything we had and obviously came up a hair short," said Herb, after missing the pole by 0.037 of a second. "My out lap was fast and I got up to speed as quickly as I could. I knew my first lap would probably be the best because my tires would start to go off after that."

Although Herb thinks traffic will be an issue in the race, he still thinks his prospects are "excellent." With an eleven car field traffic will become a problem only if drivers encounter problems. Those problems will likely come from tire wear. A flat track, without any banking to firmly plant the cars in the turns will make tires, and more importantly tire management, a key to the race."

If Herb can't pass Camara at the start he thinks he can push him and force the Brazilian to wear his tires out. "Who knows what will happen once these tires get 60 laps on them," said Herb. Tire wear could change the complexion of the race during the latter stages. Drivers pushing the leader late in the race will pin their hopes of winning on the leader encountering problems. Starting near the front will be important.

Wade Cunningham improved his practice time dramatically and will start third on Sunday. Cunningham's stopped the clocks at 26.1897 this morning, lowering that time to 25.9399 in qualifying. "We had the quickest out lap of anybody and then I just picked up too much understeer on the exit of the corners. So I decided just to qualify and not push it too hard and end up in the wall."

Cunningham thinks it will be tougher to pass at Milwaukee than it was at Nashville last week. With that he indicated he's better off starting third than second.

Arie Luyendyk will start fourth followed by Nick Bussell. The switch from West Motorsports to Vision Racing caused some teething problems at Nashville but Bussell seems to be back on form. "We didn't qualify real well at Nashville and a lot of that was Larry (Curry) knowing me." Working with a new driver entails taking a conservative approach to finding speed. Team manager Larry Curry had never worked with Bussell prior to Nashville. Further hampering Bussell's Nashville effort was the fact that "we didn't test there," Bussell said, "and we didn't test here either."

As for qualifying, Bussell reported, "I took my time and tried to put in a solid effort. I was hoping to stay in the top four so I'm a little disappointed with fifth."

Jay Drake qualified sixth, followed by Jeff Simmons and Chris Festa in eighth. Mary Roth and Scott Mayer rounded out the top ten. Travis Gregg was unable to make a qualifying run after hitting the turn two wall in a single car incident late in the morning practice session. He was uninjured.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Jon Herb , Arie Luyendyk , Scott Mayer , Jeff Simmons , Jay Drake , Nick Bussell , Chris Festa , Travis Gregg , Wade Cunningham , Jamie Camara