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Denver: Qualifying report

Kleinubing Steals SPEED Touring Car Pole >From Teammate Davis In Denver DENVER (Aug. 12, 2006) -- Point leader Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., captured his fourth-straight SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car ...

Kleinubing Steals SPEED Touring Car Pole >From Teammate Davis In Denver

DENVER (Aug. 12, 2006) -- Point leader Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., captured his fourth-straight SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship pole, the record 30th of his career, edging teammate Brandon Davis, of Denver, by just 0.025-second at the Grand Prix of Denver.

Davis, the 20 year old Denver University student that clinched Rookie of the Year at this event in 2005, looked to have the lock on his second-career series pole with a time of 1:20.911 (73.725 mph) in the No. 20 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Racing Acura TSX. Drivers traditionally get the quickest lap out of their Toyo RA-1 tires in the first flying attempt, and when Davis topped the charts after a few minutes, he was the odds on favorite to start Sunday's race first.

However, Kleinubing, who had battled a gearbox issue on Friday during practice in his No. 42 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Racing Acura TSX, gave it one more try after sitting in the pits for 10 minutes following his initial run while his crew worked on the car. In one lap, right before his gearbox problem flared back up, Kleinubing turned the pole-winning time of 1:20.886 (73.748 mph).

"I wish I could explain today," Kleinubing said of how he earned his fourth-straight pole. "[Crew members] Brian Pillar and Pete Luiz really did a good job today. We struggled yesterday a little bit with the gearbox but I knew I had a good car. I went out the first time today and [the problem] was still there. But I went out later and was able to get one lap out of it. They'll have to take a look at the car to see what's wrong with the box again.

"The first thing I did when the crew told me I got the pole was apologize to Brandon on the radio. I know he wanted it so badly too. But, he's young and he'll have more poles in his career."

Kleinubing goes for his third-straight win on Sunday.

Davis was surprisingly upbeat with his narrow miss of the pole in front of his adopted hometown fans.

"I feel pretty good actually," Davis said. "There have been a lot of instances this year where I've been disappointed with where I qualified. Second is an excellent place to start and I'm really happy to be up front and have a chance in the race.

"I only did a couple of laps and then I got out of the car. It was only one position when Pierre got me, and I thought that maybe I could go out there and try one more lap. But that would have put more miles on the tires and we wanted to save those for the race."

Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., was not far behind the pair of Acuras with a fastest time of 1:20.955--just 0.069-second off the pole in his No. 73 Mazdaspeed/Tri-Point Motorsports Mazda 6. Pobst led early last year, before a lap six spin handed the win to Eric Curran. Curran, of E. Hampton, Mass., will line up fourth in his No. 43 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Racing Acura RSX with a quick time of 1:20.985 (73.658 mph), separating the top two rows by just 0.099-second. He won the race after starting fifth last year.

Completing the top five was another Denver driver, rookie Robb Holland, who gave the Dodge SRT4 its best-ever qualifying run in his No. 67 Riverfront Park/3R Racing entry. Holland turned a quick time of 1:21.200 (73.463 mph).

Last year's pole winner, Chip Herr (Audi A4), Adam Pecorari (Audi A4), Jeff Altenburg (Mazda 6), Peter Cunningham (Acura TSX) and Charles Espenlaub (Mazda 6) completed the top five.

Sunday's Round Six race will make its standing start at 4 p.m. (MDT). To follow the action via Live Timing & Scoring Presented by SRT and live lap notes, please visit the SCCA Pit Board through www.world-challenge.com.

Sunday's race will be broadcast on SPEED Channel Saturday, Aug. 19 at 1 p.m. (EDT), 11 a.m. locally.

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Randy Pobst , Pierre Kleinubing , Peter Cunningham , Eric Curran , Jeff Altenburg , Adam Pecorari , Chip Herr , Brandon Davis , Robb Holland
Teams RealTime Racing