Daly Collects Third Pole of Season and New Track Record at Iowa Speedway Newton, Iowa, June 19, 2010 - Conor Daly collected his third pole of the 2010 season in this afternoon's qualifying session at Iowa Speedway. With a fastest lap time of...
Daly Collects Third Pole of Season and New Track Record at Iowa Speedway
Newton, Iowa, June 19, 2010 - Conor Daly collected his third pole of the 2010 season in this afternoon's qualifying session at Iowa Speedway. With a fastest lap time of 21.933, Daly was the only car to qualify under the 22-second mark and also now holds the current track record. Qualifying on the pole for today's race also gives the 18-year-old another championship point, extending his lead in the driver's championship to 30 points ahead of Andersen Racing's Mikael Grenier who currently lies in second place.
"It's been a great day for me," said Daly. "I was looking forward to qualifying here, and as always, the Juncos Racing car was absolutely magnificent and a joy to drive. It was interesting in today's qualifying session because it felt like there was a bit more rubber on the track after the IndyCars had been on it. I was happy I was able to go just a bit quicker than I did yesterday, and I'm hoping the race will go like it did at O'Reilly Raceway Park. This track seems like it will be easier to pass on though, so it could be a really tough and competitive race."
Since her injury at O'Reilly Raceway Park, young Colombian driver Tatiana Calderon has worked hard to prepare for her second ever oval race this weekend at Iowa Speedway. Not only has she gained some strength, but she has gained more confidence as well. With only two green flag laps to perform, the quick-learning 17-year-old impressively stayed close to the fastest lap time in the single car qualifying session with a fastest lap time of 22.665 and will start in 13th position for tonight's race.
"I'm very happy with the team and with the car," said Calderon. "I think I improved a lot from the first test session yesterday to the qualifying session this afternoon. I've gained a lot of confidence with the car since the start of the season which is really important-especially on oval tracks. I'm feeling much stronger since the last race, so I'm really looking forward to the race tonight."
Rusty Mitchell, the newest addition to the Juncos Racing team, is a proven oval competitor. In 2009, Mitchell finished sixth at the Milwaukee Mile event and fourth at the first annual Pizza Ranch 100 at Iowa Speedway. Just three weeks ago, Mitchell finished fourth at O'Reilly Raceway Park for Round Four of the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, making him an odds-on favorite going into Round Five at Iowa Speedway. Unfortunately, the young Texan has encountered some much unanticipated and unwanted car problems over the course of this weekend, keeping him thus far from being able to clock in the lap times he deserves.
"I'm a little frustrated at the moment," said Mitchell. "The setup feels really good on the car, and I think it's going to be really good for the race, but we just have some problems to sort out first. I'm sure the guys will figure it out before the race tonight. I'm really happy for Conor (Daly) and the whole team for taking their third pole position this year."
Round Five of the Star Mazda Championship starts tonight at 7:15 p.m. CST when the Juncos Racing trio will take on the 7/8-mile oval for 100 laps of heated and competitive racing.
-source: juncos racing