J.K. VERNAY WINS POLE FOR SUNDAY'S TORONTO 100 FOR SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS TORONTO - J.K. Vernay stole the pole and thunder from home-town driver James Hinchcliffe on Saturday afternoon at the downtown street circuit in Toronto for Sunday's ...
J.K. VERNAY WINS POLE FOR SUNDAY'S TORONTO 100 FOR SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS
TORONTO - J.K. Vernay stole the pole and thunder from home-town driver James Hinchcliffe on Saturday afternoon at the downtown street circuit in Toronto for Sunday's Toronto 100.
Vernay, who leads the points standings, beat Hinchliffe, second in points, by less than a tenth of a second. The pole is Vernay's second in the series. In six starts this year, he has won three times and is confident in getting his fourth on Sunday and extending his points lead.
It was a tough qualifying session for the other three Sam Schmidt entries as James Winslow, Philip Major, and Pippa Mann ended up 11th, 12th, and 13th, respectively. Major and Mann had their days end prematurely due to contact with the retaining walls, and their ensuing full-course cautions resulted in a penalty of having their best laps stripped away from them. They all have their work cut out for them on Sunday, but all three are confident they can march their way back to the front.
No. 7 LUCAS OIL/CJ Motorsport/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver J.K. Vernay
"I was pushing more and more and more, but with the track temperature, it was really slippery. It was not easy to drive fast. I didn't want to lose the car and crash. I didn't crash in the beginning of the year, so I don't want to start here. In the beginning, I had a better feeling with my car. I was able to improve my lap times and take more and more risks. Lap after lap, we were quicker, and at the end, I was able to take the pole. I just want to enjoy this event here. It's so nice here in Toronto. It's beautiful. I'm just trying to take pleasure in everything, and when you take pleasure, you're always quick. So, we'll see for tomorrow."
No. 11 LOBLAWS/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Pippa Mann
"This weekend we've been working really hard to improve our qualifying performance on new tires. I've been trying new and different things, and have had to push hard to do so. While this has left us without the position we'd hoped for, it is a significant step forward in terms of performance. Sometimes it may not look good on paper, but in actual fact we'd qualified in the top-ten, but that lap was deleted due to the caution. I can't be too disappointed knowing we did have the speed."
No. 49 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Philip Major
"It wasn't the best of qualifying sessions for us. We were looking good heading into the qualifying session. We had a solid effort in the morning practice, and I thought we had a bit more time in us to lay down on the track. Unfortunately, I just had a bit too much under-steer, and I clipped the inside of a corner and that sent me into the outside wall. It was a bummer because we weren't able to put down our true pace. We should be starting somewhere in the top-six or top-five. We'll have to get it all back tomorrow and shoot for that Force for Earth Hard Charger Award."
No. 77 FOCAL POINT/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver James Winslow
"Well, another tough starting spot for us, but J.K. has shown that the team can put a quick car on the track. It's going to have to be another exciting race for us to move up through the field, but it can be done. We have one more practice session to try a few things, and I'm confident that the team and I can pull our heads together and pull through with another top-five or even better."