Milwaukee Qualifying Story

Saturday May 30. 1998 Sergio Paese Captures Second Sea-Doo/Ski-Doo Pole At Milwaukee Mile Sergio Paese also won the Sea-Doo/Ski-Doo Pole Award in the opening round of the season at Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex. He is...

Saturday May 30. 1998 Sergio Paese Captures Second Sea-Doo/Ski-Doo Pole At Milwaukee Mile Sergio Paese also won the Sea-Doo/Ski-Doo Pole Award in the opening round of the season at Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex. He is the first driver to win two poles this year. "This track is a little bumpy and very different from Nazareth and St. Louis in that it has so little banking," Paese said. "In my opinion, this oval is like one long, fast corner - and I love fast corners." Young rookie Tony Renna of Deland, Florida earned the outside of the front row in his Alco Capital Group/Nassi Group Lola, his best career starting position, with a speed of 150.951 mph. This is the first front-row starting berth for Renna's Mattco Raceworks team, which is in its first season of Indy Lights competition. "Obviously to do well today in qualifying is important for us since this is our first year in Indy Lights," Renna said. "I didn't get off to a good start when I crashed in practice for the opening round at Homestead. I missed that race entirely. We've been making steady progress since then so it is nice to have something now to show for it." Championship leader Cristiano da Matta spun and hit the wall while warming up for his qualifying attempt when a mechanical failure caused the right rear wheel to come off in Turn Three. Da Matta sustained only abrasions on his left foot and has been cleared to compete in Sunday's race. His race car was heavily damaged but the team expects to be able to complete repairs overnight. "Physically, I think I will be alright for tomorrow," said da Matta. "It's always difficult to say about the pain and how I will feel tomorrow. Right now, the upper part of my body is fine. My knees are a bit sore. The biggest problem is the left foot but it is still not a big deal. Once we get the car fixed, we will be able to race and try to score some nice points tomorrow." Da Matta is not the only driver who will have to deal with aches and pains tomorrow. Clint Mears, who dominated here last year, crashed heavily on Friday. Team Mears repaired his car overnight and Mears was able to qualify 16th today at 147.335 mph but reports that he is still very sore from the incident. Jorge Goeters, Sea-Doo/Ski-Doo Pole Award winner last weekend at Gateway International Raceway, crashed during Saturday's morning practice. Goeters was uninjured but the Quaker State/Team GO crew did not have time to complete repairs before qualifying. Casey Mears, Clint's cousin and teammate, was forced to wave off his qualifying attempt today due to severe handling problems. He will start his Penske Auto Center/Mobil 1/ARE Lola from the back of the grid on Sunday. Irish rookie Derek Higgins, Goeters' Quaker State/Team Go teammate, set the pace in practice both Friday and today but abandoned his qualifying effort after his first timed lap because of handling problems. He will start seventh on Sunday.

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Casey Mears , Derek Higgins , Tony Renna , Jorge Goeters , Cristiano da Matta