* Raphael Matos sets a new Firestone Indy Lights qualifying record at St. Petersburg with a fastest lap of 1 minute, 6.4669 seconds, 96.514 mph.

* This is Matos' third career pole. He also won poles at St. Petersburg in 2006 and at Homestead-Miami earlier this season.

* This is the fourth pole for AFS/Andretti Green Racing. The team won two poles with Wade Cunningham last year and the pole at Homestead-Miami with Matos this season.

* Ana Beatriz qualified a career-best third.


The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation will be hosting nearly 70 guests today at noon at as a part of its Day at the Races program.

Guests include visitors from the Haley VA Hospital, Caring and Sharing, Childrens' Medical Services, the Florida Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center, and the Center for Comprehensive Services.

Visitors will be treated to a lunch at the Sam Schmidt Motorsports transporters, hear a speech from team owner Sam Schmidt, learn about quality of life programs from foundation President Ida Cahill and watch a full day of racing.

The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation was founded in 2000 while Schmidt was still in the rehabilitation hospital. Its mission is to raise funds to support spinal cord injury research which also benefits stroke victims, people with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, ALS, and other neurological disorders. The foundation is active in advocacy efforts benefiting the disabled and funds organizations throughout the world that directly benefit people with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities.


Arie Luyendyk Jr. is scheduled to travel to Shanghai, China on Monday with A1 Team Holland for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport event. The trip may force Luyendyk to miss the Firestone Indy Lights Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 11.

ARIE LUYENDYK (No. 26 Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc.): "I'd love to be at the Open Test, and it's obviously very important to me and team that I be there. But I have my commitments to A1 as well, so we'll have to check with the Dutch team and with AGR to see what they want. Either way, I may be in for a lot of travel."

-credit: irl