Kansas: RLR/Andersen Racing qualifying notes

Romancini Qualifies Sixth For RLR/Andersen Racing Saturday at Kansas Speedway; Summerton Welcomes Mockett & Co. As Primary Sponsor Here KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 25 - Mario Romancini led the way for RLR/Andersen Racing Saturday during qualifying...

Romancini Qualifies Sixth For RLR/Andersen Racing Saturday at Kansas Speedway; Summerton Welcomes Mockett & Co. As Primary Sponsor Here

KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 25 - Mario Romancini led the way for RLR/Andersen Racing Saturday during qualifying for Sunday's Kansas Lottery 100 Firestone Indy Lights race, posting the sixth-fastest time in the field of 24 for his first oval-track event ever. His teammate, Jonathan Summerton, who is also making his first oval-track start, will take the green in the 15th position.

Romancini, the tenth driver to go under the timing beacon in quals, posted two laps in 29.3511 (186.433 miles per hour) and 29.4027 (186.105 mph) for a combined time of 58.7538 and an average speed of 186.269 mph. His No. 5, which is sponsored by Andersen Racing, Revita Recycling, Win Brazil Marketing, Allied Interior Products and Lafarge North America, will start on the outside of Row 3 beside Pippa Mann's No. 16 and right behind J.R. Hildebrand, who won this race last year from the fourth starting spot driving for RLR/Andersen Racing.

Saturday's sixth place was the best qualifying result for Romancini, who hails from Sao Paulo, Brazil, in this series to date. His previous best starting position was tenth in the season opener.

Summerton has a new primary sponsor for this event in Mockett & Co., a national manufacturer of fine cabinet hardware and other items for the building, custom cabinet and furniture industries. Summerton was the first driver out in the qualifying order, and the track got faster as the session progressed. His two laps in quals in the Mockett & Co./Allied Interior Supply No. 9 were done in 29.5975 (184.880 mph) and 29.6487 (184.561 mph) for a combined time of 59.2462 (184.721 mph).

The Kissimmee, Fla.-based driver, who turned 21 on Tuesday and goes into this event only three points behind point leader Junior Strous, will start beside a former Andersen Racing Star Mazda driver, Pablo Donoso, on the inside of Row 8. Strous will start directly behind Summerton on the inside of Row 9.

Series veteran Wade Cunningham got the pole with two laps in 29.1391 (187.789 mph) and 29.2421 (187.127 mph) for a combined time of 58.3812 (187.458 mph).

Patience will be required of the entire field for tomorrow's 67-lap/100-mile event on the 1.52-mile tri-oval. There were five caution periods for this race last year for almost half of the event, 30 laps.

Weather is also a consideration here. There were sprinkles off and on all day and a 40 percent chance of precipitation on Saturday, but qualifying got off as planned despite 13 mph winds. The probability of precipitation rises to 60 percent Sunday, with 9-18 mph winds forecast. (The NASCAR truck race that followed Firestone Indy Lights qualifying on Saturday was interrupted by rain and will resume Monday morning at 10 a.m.)

Mario Romancini: "I'm very happy. We were second for a while, and we ended up sixth. I hope we can be in the top five tomorrow.

"I'm real happy with the balance of the car and with my team. I must stay out of the crashes tomorrow.

"The wind really affects you here; the top speed on the frontstretch is quite different than the top speed on the backstretch."

Jonathan Summerton: "I want to thank Doug Mockett and Mockett & Co. for coming on board with us for this race. We really appreciate their help.

"Our car was a little tight overall in qualifying. It wasn't a pole time, but our car is quick in traffic, so I'm happy about that."

-credit: rlr/ar

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Pablo Donoso , Pippa Mann , Wade Cunningham , Junior Strous , Doug Mockett , Jonathan Summerton , J.R. Hildebrand , Mario Romancini