IPS: Cunningham will start on Nashville pole

Wade Cunningham earned his second pole of the season after averaging 180.459 mph around the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway. Cunningham trimmed nearly two-tenths of a second from his best practice lap which averaged 179.198 mph, when he was ...

Wade Cunningham earned his second pole of the season after averaging 180.459 mph around the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway. Cunningham trimmed nearly two-tenths of a second from his best practice lap which averaged 179.198 mph, when he was fastest in the second session.

"We've been quick everywhere we've gone," said Cunningham. "Every time we come here, we're quickest in testing, so it's nice to validate the crew's effort again with a pole. That says as much about what they put in as what I do.

"We were quickest in the second practice today. I'm confident we've got a good car for tomorrow. The race is long, and it gets tricky with the marbles and tire wear. I'm pretty sure we've got enough to stay up front, and we'll be looking for a strong result."

All three Indy Pro Series winners at Nashville have started on the pole.

Jay Howard, who was the only other driver to break the 180 mph barrier in qualifying, will start second. Although he didn't have much to say about qualifying, Howard was quick to point out that, "We'll be up front tomorrow."

Jaime Camara was two-tenths of a second off of Howard's time and will start third with a qualifying lap at 178.883 mph.

Brett Van Blankers earned his best starting position after qualifying fourth. "I almost had third," said Van Blankers with a smile. Van Blankers, who was fastest in the first practice session, said he was pleasantly surprised when he learned the car was fast right off the transporter. For qualifying, "Wade's engineer told me the tires would come in right away," and you could go flat out as soon as you left the pits. "All I had to do was be smooth and hit my marks."

James Chesson and Sean Guthrie were involved in separate on track incidents during practice. Neither driver was injured but Chesson has withdrawn from Saturday's race. "I was just coasting," said Chesson. "I wasn't out there to set the world on fire. I've never been here. I was just coasting around on the outside, and it took off on me."

Guthrie's experience was similar. "We were just working up to speed. We weren't even flat yet. Everything was going good and it just snapped. Guthrie's crew was able to make repairs to car in time for qualifying. He will start 11th after qualifying at 174.124 mph.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers James Chesson , Wade Cunningham , Jaime Camara , Jay Howard , Sean Guthrie