IPS: Festa earns pole position at Homestead

Chris Festa earned the pole position for Saturday's Indy Pro Series Miami 100 after touring the 1.5-mile superspeedway at an average speed of 187.280 mph. Festa, who drives for Chip Ganassi's Indy Pro Series team, set the fastest lap of the day in...

Chris Festa earned the pole position for Saturday's Indy Pro Series Miami 100 after touring the 1.5-mile superspeedway at an average speed of 187.280 mph. Festa, who drives for Chip Ganassi's Indy Pro Series team, set the fastest lap of the day in practice at 185.224 mph.

"I knew we had a legitimate shot at the pole," said Festa, "but I don't know where that 187 came from."

With practice held under bright sunny conditions and qualifying run after dark, Festa said that "conditions came to us a little bit. The IndyCar team said the car would get loose as temperatures cooled so we put a little push in it."

Alex Lloyd will start second in his first appearance at Homestead Miami Speedway. "It's a bit frustrating," said Lloyd. "We were second in practice, second at the test and now second in qualifying."

During his run, Lloyd's car hit the rev-limiter early on the front straight. "I think we chose the wrong gear and that kept us from the pole. We're starting on the front row with a good car so maybe we can do something about being second in the race."

While the 26 car field is comprised of mostly rookies, 15 total, veteran drivers rose to the top taking four of the top five qualifying positions. Hideki Mutoh will start third in his very first Pro Series race. Seventh fastest in practice, Mutoh picked up nearly 2 mph in qualifying. "This is my first time on an oval," said Mutoh. "I like the speed and running close to the wall. I still need to learn in traffic and that is my goal for tomorrow."

Veteran drivers Bobby Wilson and Wade Cunningham qualified fourth and fifth, respectively. "We haven't tested at night," Wilson said. "The air was a little different, the track was a little different and we were probably too conservative" on our setup.

"I expect some good racing tomorrow."

Alex Lloyd agreed. With 22 cars qualifying within one second, "it is going to be anybody's race tomorrow."

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Chip Ganassi , Alex Lloyd , Chris Festa , Wade Cunningham , Bobby Wilson , Hideki Mutoh