IPS: Medeiros earns record sixth pole at Chicagoland

Thiago Medeiros secured the pole position for Saturday afternoon's Chicagoland 100 at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL. Medeiros' earned his sixth pole of the season, a Menards Infiniti Pro Series record, by breaking Ed Carpenter's track ...

Thiago Medeiros secured the pole position for Saturday afternoon's Chicagoland 100 at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL. Medeiros' earned his sixth pole of the season, a Menards Infiniti Pro Series record, by breaking Ed Carpenter's track record of 189.057 mph set last year. Medeiros toured the 1.52-mile superspeedway at an average speed of 190.77mph, yet that was not the fastest lap of the day.

After two practice sessions, it was Medeiros' Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate, Travis Gregg atop the speed with a lap at 191.226 mph. With most of the fastest practice laps set with the aid of a draft, Gregg still managed to take the second qualifying spot with a lap at 190.288 mph.

"I thought I had him," said Gregg. "We managed to put together a good lap but Thiago did a (190) .770. That's really fast. I have to hand it to him."

Although Medeiros was second fastest in the first practice session, he dropped to fourth when both sessions were combined. While other drivers were trying different things to find speed. Medeiros was ran consistent laps in practice and qualifying, with little variation in his speeds of 190.784 and 190.483 mph in each practice session.

When it came time to qualify, Medeiros stuck to the team's plan and ran 190.770 mph.

"Actually, I tried something different on my second lap," said Medeiros. "We ran fifth gear in practice, so that's what I did on my first (qualifying) lap. I knew we had a good speed with that lap, so I tried to shift on the second lap. That didn't work, it cost me time. I probably could have gone faster."

Even though Medeiros's second lap was nearly a tenth of a second (0.0826 seconds) slower than his first, it still would have been good enough for the pole.

Starting on the inside of the second row is Paul Dana with a qualifying lap of 188.972 mph. With three races remaining on the schedule, Dana is attempting to close a 67-point deficit to series leader Medeiros. "I think we made a gearing error, and it cost us some time ramping up to speed. I think there may have been a tenth we left on the table but not the two or three tenths that they're quicker. It's not going to matter for tomorrow. The Ethanol car is really solid in traffic. The race is going to be a big lottery. It only matters what happens at the end."

Arie Luyendyk Jr. will start fourth with Al Unser rounding out the top five.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Paul Dana , Travis Gregg , Ed Carpenter , Al Unser , Thiago Medeiros , Arie Luyendyk Jr.