CUNNINGHAM TOPS CARNEROS 100 QUALIFYING
SONOMA, Calif., Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 -- Wade Cunningham saved his best for last, turning his fast lap with three minutes remaining in the second session to claim the SWE Race Car Parts Pole Award for the Indy Pro Series' Carneros 100.
Rookie Alex Lloyd will start second, with championship contenders Jonathan Klein, Jay Howard and Bobby Wilson starting third, fifth and sixth, respectively.
DAY 1 NOTEBOOK:
Indy Pro Series entry updates:
* Driver of Car #3 is now Daniel Gaunt
* Driver of Car #51 is now Hoover Orsi
* Car name of #41 is now Chicago Climate Exchange
* AFS Racing has withdrawn car #25
Hoover Orsi will drive the No. 51 Cheever Racing Formtek entry this weekend in place of Chris Festa. Festa is being treated for mononucleosis. Orsi is an open-wheel veteran who won the Toyota Atlantic championship in 2001.
Ryan Justice is taking a stand on one of the world's most important and overlooked issues -- child hunger. Justice, with backing of his many sponsors, will display the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) logo on his #38 Northwest Autosport Sam Schmidt Motorsport entry.
RYAN JUSTICE (No. 38 Northwest Autosport Sam Schmidt Msp): "I'm happy that through racing, I can help make a difference in the lives of hungry children all over the world. I will do my best to race to raise awareness of the problem of hunger and the important work of WFP."
INDY PRO SERIES SWE RACE CAR PARTS QUALIFYING NOTES:
* This is Wade Cunningham's fourth pole position of the season and the fifth of his Indy Pro Series career. It is his second road/street course pole in the Indy Pro Series. He previously won a road/street course pole at Watkins Glen in 2005.
* This is Brian Stewart Racing's fourth pole position of the season and the fifth in the Indy Pro Series. The team's last pole position came with Cunningham at Milwaukee. It's last road course pole also came with Cunningham at Watkins Glen in 2005.
* Rookie Alex Lloyd will start second. He has qualified on the front row for each of the road/street course starts in the Indy Pro Series.
* Indy Pro Series title contenders Jonathan Klein, Jay Howard and Bobby Wilson will start third, fifth and sixth, respectively.
INDY PRO SERIES SWE RACE CAR PARTS QUALIFYING QUOTES:
WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 1 Brian Stewart Racing, SWE Race Car Parts Pole Award winner): "There was that one big yellow near the end. We took the time to get the right amount of fuel in the car and put new tires on, so we had the perfect circumstance to do a good lap. And we had a clear track, which was important. I think that was probably the biggest key. I got five uninterrupted laps, which I'm sure other people didn't get, because we waited behind everyone for nearly a minute. It was good strategy on the team's part. The car is obviously good because it's fast, so we'll take what we've got tomorrow and see how it is." (About leader being passed on restarts in last few laps. Is that harder to do on a road course?) "I think so because on the ovals the draft is so important. When you're second or third in line, you just accelerate so much quicker because you're not pushing your own air. That doesn't happen on the road courses. Being up front is definitely the advantage. Not like Kentucky when you saw the leader always go backwards on the original start and both restarts. The front is the best place to be, and I'll attack from there." (About starting inside or outside) "I think you saw last year the outside gets pretty dirty, so being inside on the pole is where I wanted to be."
ALEX LLOYD (No. 26 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, qualified second): "The day generally was really good. I probably expected a little more from today, to be honest. We had a decent test, and the car was good. It was really only Wade (Cunningham) who could keep up with the times. I was a little bit disappointed at the end of the session. I set the pace all day and was quickest with five minutes to go until the end. We had new tires on, which should technically give you a little more speed. The car felt good but we were stuck in traffic, and I just couldn't get a run at the end. Second is a decent starting place."
JONATHAN KLEIN (No. 27 Klein Tools/Turn-Key Forging, qualified third): "The car felt really good out there. We made some earlier adjustments and they worked out really good for us. I usually struggle with road courses, so I'm really happy with a third-place starting position. I just need a good start and keep myself out of trouble."
NICK BUSSELL (No. 52 Cheever Racing, qualified fourth): "The car felt pretty good out there. We made some earlier improvements in the first session, and we were really happy with that. We're going to make some more improvements before the race tomorrow, but I think we're going in the right direction, and everybody is happy about that."
JAY HOWARD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, qualified fifth): "It didn't go as expected. I was hoping to get better. We started off on old tires and were two tenths off. We came and put on new tires and made changes and were marginally better. It was not quite how I wanted it to go. It takes ling time for the tires to come in. Having to build up heat in the tires takes a long time. Hopefully, we'll do better tomorrow."