IPS: Champion Lloyd nails down Chicagoland pole

Alex Lloyd earned his fifth pole of the season after touring the 1.52-mile Chicagoland Speedway at an average speed of 190.133 mph. Lloyd, who clinched the Indy Pro Series championship at the last race at Infineon Raceway, earned his last pole...

Alex Lloyd earned his fifth pole of the season after touring the 1.52-mile Chicagoland Speedway at an average speed of 190.133 mph. Lloyd, who clinched the Indy Pro Series championship at the last race at Infineon Raceway, earned his last pole at Mid Ohio in July.

This is the 12th time that Lloyd has qualified on the front row this season. "That's something that definitely means a lot to myself and the team. When you look at that, that's a pretty good record, especially when you look at all the different kind of tracks we race on. On every weekend, no matter what, we've been right there either the quickest or right there as second quickest. That really shows the performance we've had all year."

When the green flag falls at 11:30 Sunday morning, Lloyd will be looking for an unprecedented ninth victory this season.

With Indy Pro Series runner-up Hideki Mutoh competing in the IndyCar Series this weekend, Lloyd's primary concern will be Wade Cunningham, who will start second.

"We tried some qualifying simulations in the second practice and we ran slower than we did with our race setup. We didn't really know what we were doing today so we just sort of put it back to where it was and sent it out to qualify," said Cunningham.

Ben Petter qualified a career-best third. His previous best was sixth at Kentucky in 2005. Petter will be competing in his fourth Indy Pro Series race and his second this year. He finished tenth at Iowa Speedway in June after starting 20th. Petter has also competed in USAC National and Western States midgets.

Lloyd's Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Logan Gomez will start fourth followed by Jaime Camara and Chris Festa.

Camara was fastest after two practice sessions with a lap at 192.623 mph. Lloyd, the pole sitter, was sixth fastest in practice, his best was 191.812 mph.

Pleased with his qualifying effort, Camara said he had a good car for the race except that "we're at a point now where we should have been at the beginning of the season."

Jimmy Kite struggled through practice before qualifying 14th for his first Indy Pro series race. "It's been a lot of learning. It's a brand new car and obviously we've got a rookie driver in it. It's a lot of fun. It seems like every time we go out we learn something a little new."

Once he finds the handle on the Pro series car, Kite, a veteran of the Indy 500, could find himself running towards the front. "We'll make some changes" for the race tomorrow, he said. "It looks like we have a couple cars to pass tomorrow, but it makes it a fun day."

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series INDYLIGHTS