Sonoma: RLR/Andersen Racing qualifying notes

RLR/Andersen's Drivers to Start Eighth and 18th Sunday at Infineon SONOMA, Calif., Aug. 22 - RLR/Andersen Racing's Mario Romancini qualified eighth while his teammate, Ali Jackson, will start 18th in Sunday's Carneros 100 Firestone Indy Lights...

RLR/Andersen's Drivers to Start Eighth and 18th Sunday at Infineon

SONOMA, Calif., Aug. 22 - RLR/Andersen Racing's Mario Romancini qualified eighth while his teammate, Ali Jackson, will start 18th in Sunday's Carneros 100 Firestone Indy Lights race at Infineon Raceway.

Romancini, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, recorded his best lap on his final circuit during the 40-minute qualifying session Saturday afternoon when he was timed in 1:23.8780 for an average speed of 98.844 miles per hour for the 12-turn, 2.303-mile road course. 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 4 beside a car driven by Richard Philippe when the 40-lap/92-mile, 19-car race gets the green flag at 11:15 a.m. local time (2:15 p.m. Eastern) tomorrow.

Jackson, of Moyvalley, County Kildare, Ireland, will start the race on the outside of Row 9 beside Juan Pablo Garcia. His qualifying time, which was set on his 13th of 19 laps, was 1:25.0625 for an average speed of 97.467 mph. His No. 9 is sponsored by the Moyvalley Golf and Hotel Resort and Allied Interior Products.

Less than a second separated the top 10 cars.

Richard Antinucci came from seventh to win here in 2007, but historically this event has very few lead changes. In the five years since the series has held seven previous races here, there has never been more than one lead change during a race. That happened twice, while there were no lead changes in five other races.

Both of the RLR/Andersen Racing drivers are rookies in this series, and both had only 45 minutes of practice on Saturday morning prior to the qualifying session. They both shaved about a second off their practice times in qualifications.

Romancini goes into this race sixth in the point standings. Jackson, who did not compete in all the events, is 16th.

Point leader J.R. Hildebrand won the pole with a time of 1:23.0361 (99.846 mph), which was not a record.

There is a half-hour warm-up session at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow before the race starts at 11:15 a.m.

VERSUS's telecast of the race is scheduled for 4 p.m. Eastern time on Monday.

After Sunday's race only two more events remain in 2009: Aug. 29 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., and Oct. 9 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla.

-credit: rlr/ar

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Series INDYLIGHTS