Pablo Donoso grabs Milwaukee 100 pole

Chilean Pablo Donoso of Team Moore put together a quick 145.669 mph two-lap average to take pole at qualifying for the Sunday (June 1st) Milwaukee 100 race at Wisconsin Fairgrounds. It was the rookie Firestone Indy Lights driver's first try at...

Chilean Pablo Donoso of Team Moore put together a quick 145.669 mph two-lap average to take pole at qualifying for the Sunday (June 1st) Milwaukee 100 race at Wisconsin Fairgrounds.

It was the rookie Firestone Indy Lights driver's first try at race-weekend competition on The Mile, where strong cross- and head-winds have played havoc with the field over most of the day and punished several competitors with contact in tricky Turn 2 of the one-mile oval.

"I was almost the last car (to qualify) and it was hard," said Donoso, "but I was pretty confident. I thought I could win the pole if the grip was good on Turn 1 and Turn 2, and it was. You could feel the car move a little bit, but it was fine."

Team E's Bobby Wilson was second-quick, earning his spot on the outside of the front row with a speed of 145.263 mph.

"The Team E car was really good, hats off to my crew. We might have left a little on the table, but you can never predict what happens in qualifying."

Donoso teammate Jeff Simmons (145.117 mph) was third-fastest on Saturday, and will start aside Sam Schmidt Motorsports' James Davison who picked up the fourth-quickest average speed on 144.862 mph.

"We had the same setup as Pablo," said Simmons, "but, I was so sideways on the first lap I didn't think I would be very quick."

AFS Andretti Green Racing's Arie Luyendyk Jr rounds out the top five with an average of 144 mph even.

SSM's Ana 'Bia' Beatriz fared the worst of the hopefuls, crashing in Turn 2 as she warmed the tires to begin her qualifying effort.

"I was going too fast and the rear went out from under me," she said afterwards when cleared by trackside medical personnel to resume driving. "I just couldn't catch it in time."

An herculean effort at rebuilding his smashed car let RLR Andersen's J R Hildebrand qualify on the outside of row seven with a mark of 140.383 mph. Hildebrand clobbered the left side and rear of his Dallara in practice earlier, but the team successfully put him back on track in time to qualify.

Among other notables, points-leader Richard Antinucci earned the eleventh spot on the grid after experiencing engine concerns in the final practice this morning. His average speed over two laps was recorded at 141.036 mph.

Second-place points-chaser Dillon Battistini of Panther Racing suffered an electrical failure that prevented him from qualifying, putting him (along with Beatriz and Jon Brownson) at the rear of the field for tomorrow's 11:30 AM CDT (12:30 PM EDT) rolling start.

Cyndie Allemann crashed in morning practice, damaging the No. 18 American Spirit Racing car. Allemann's team was able to successfully repair the damage in time for qualifying. Allemann will start from the outside of row nine of the twenty-two car field on race day.

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Sam Schmidt , Jon Brownson , Jeff Simmons , Richard Antinucci , Pablo Donoso , James Davison , Bobby Wilson , Cyndie Allemann , Dillon Battistini
Teams Panther Racing