IPS: Dana earns first career pole

Paul Dana earned his first Infiniti Pro Series career pole position in qualifying for Sunday's Miami 100 at the Homestead Miami Speedway. Dana was the second driver to make a qualifying run, setting the mark at 189.745 mph. Arie Luyendyk Jr.,...

Paul Dana earned his first Infiniti Pro Series career pole position in qualifying for Sunday's Miami 100 at the Homestead Miami Speedway. Dana was the second driver to make a qualifying run, setting the mark at 189.745 mph.

Arie Luyendyk Jr., who will start second, nearly matched Dana's effort, missing the pole by 0.0173 seconds. Luyendyk's average speed was 189.629mph. "The car was really good, said Luyendyk Jr. "Obviously, we just missed it by a few hundredths. It's a shame but the car was handling great. I think we'll be there for the race and that's the impotant thing."

Dana's first pole was also the first for his team, Hemelgarn 91 Johnson Motorsports. "It was a good run. I'm real happy," said Dana, whose previous best start was seventh at Phoenix last season. Dana said his team had simulated the qualifying run and "that's what we expected., so we met our goal."

Luyendyk Jr's teammate at Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Thiago Medieros, will start third. Medeiros was nest to last in the qualifying line and was able to make a tire pressure adjustment after gaining feedback from Luyendyk's run.

Despite a third place starting position, Medieros was a bit disappointed. "It's not bad, but it could be better. We have a very good balance in the draft, so I'm not worried. It's going to be a very fun race for us."

Medieros earned his first victory in the series at Texas Motor Speedway in the 2003 season finale.

Marty Roth will start fourth in equipment he purchased from Mark Taylor's 2003 championship effort at Panther Racing. Last in the qualifying line, Roth made his run under bright sunshine while most of his competitors ran under a cloud cover.

"We've been chasing the car as it has warmed up a lot," said Roth. "The guys did a great job in anticipating the weather, keeping the car in the window,"

The top four cars are separated by less than half a second.

Jesse Mason will start fifth in his first start in the series. "I kind of like this setup in qualifying, where you get a limited amount of laps," said Mason, after first experience in track oval qualifying. "You just go out and go as fast as you can."

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Marty Roth , Thiago Medieros , Paul Dana , Jesse Mason , Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Teams Panther Racing