Long Beach: Series qualifying notes

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Saturday, April 18, 2009) -- J.R. Hildebrand won his second pole of the season for the Firestone Indy Lights Grand Prix of Long Beach. Hildebrand turned in a best lap of 1:15.2696, 94.126 mph. James Hinchcliffe qualified ...

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Saturday, April 18, 2009) -- J.R. Hildebrand won his second pole of the season for the Firestone Indy Lights Grand Prix of Long Beach. Hildebrand turned in a best lap of 1:15.2696, 94.126 mph. James Hinchcliffe qualified second.

The 45-lap Firestone Indy Lights race is scheduled for12:40 p.m. (ET) Sunday. The 85-lap Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will follow at 4:30 p.m. (ET).

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FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-QUALIFYING NOTES:

* J.R. Hildebrand won the pole. This is his second pole of the season and his second career pole. He also won the pole for St. Petersburg 1. He led 22 laps in that race before finishing third.

* James Hinchcliffe qualified second, bettering his fifth-place qualifying effort at St. Petersburg 1.

* Stefan Wilson, the younger brother of IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson, qualified third, his best qualifying effort this season. His previous best was 13th at St. Petersburg 1.

* Richard Philippe qualified fourth, bettering his sixth-place qualifying effort at St. Petersburg 2.

* Jonathan Summerton qualified fifth, bettering his sixth-place qualifying effort at St. Petersburg 1.

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FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES:

J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 26 ARPRO, first): "The boys have done a great job. We've got a really good car, so that makes my job a lot easier, but (that session) was a tough one. We had a lot of breaks, and we only had a couple of laps on the tires. We were just getting rolling, but they said the time was coming down, so I had to get one in. The (Firestone) Firehawks were right up to speed and I was able to take advantage of it. It worked out really well for us."

(About having to put in a quick lap so quickly): "I was getting concerned because we don't have a lot of time to start with. We do these split groups, which is great because we get a lot of track time, but it shortens our session. The guys did a great job in the pits getting the stop done and getting us out there to get the lap, so I owe it to them today."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 7 Hinchtown/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, second): "Obviously it was a good session for us. We thought we had pole there for the session right up until the last lap. We had a yellow flag on that last lap, which would have been a little bit quicker, so it's one of those tough deals, but it's racing, especially street racing. These things happen, but for us we had a good clean lap and we worked really hard on the car overnight, because yesterday we really weren't happy with the setup. Huge credit has to go to the Sam Schmidt Motorsports boys for putting in the effort overnight and making sure everything got better for this morning. We've just got to be smart tomorrow and try to pick our way up, and hopefully we'll end up on the podium."

STEFAN WILSON (No. 19 SWS/Walker Racing, third): "I'm really pleased with it, good to be starting on Row 2, but a little disappointed at the same time. It's just unfortunate how the yellow turned out. I was on a really, really good lap coming into Turn 9 when they threw the yellow, then I had to back off. We have a good starting position, let's see what we do in the race. I hope to take the flag tomorrow and put on a good show for the fans."

RICHARD PHILIPPE (No. 36 Genoa, fourth): "I think I could have gone faster today than I did. The track conditions were good, and traffic was not a problem I just didn't get quite as much out of the car as I could have, so I'm not very happy at the moment."

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SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):

9:30 a.m. Firestone Indy Lights pre-race
9:40 a.m. Firestone Indy Lights Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (45 laps/89 miles)

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Richard Philippe , James Hinchcliffe , Jonathan Summerton , J.R. Hildebrand , Stefan Wilson