MX-5: Utah qualifying notes

Daniels Wins Pole for Penultimate Round of MX-5 Cup at Miller Motorsports Park, Team MER Hold Top Five Spots TOOELE, Utah (Sept. 1, 2006) -- Jim Daniels, of Germantown, Tenn., clearly has his sights set on winning the inaugural MX-5 Cup ...

Daniels Wins Pole for Penultimate Round of MX-5 Cup at Miller Motorsports Park, Team MER Hold Top Five Spots

TOOELE, Utah (Sept. 1, 2006) -- Jim Daniels, of Germantown, Tenn., clearly has his sights set on winning the inaugural MX-5 Cup Drivers' Championship this weekend after capturing the pole for tomorrow's penultimate round of the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook at Miller Motorsports Park. The Round Seven race is part of the Discount Tire Sunchaser event weekend. Daniels' Team MER teammates Anders Hainer, of Hidden Hills, Calif.; Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas; Pratt Cole, of Salt Lake City; and Deborah Loth, of Fort Worth Texas qualified second through fifth, respectively, giving Team MER a sweep of the top five spots.

Driving the No. 76 saferacer.com/Team MER Mazda MX-5, Daniels did not waste any time grabbing the pole on his first flying lap around the 24-turn, 4.5-mile course in a time of 3:19.755 (80.847 mph). Daniels performance earned him his fourth-consecutive pole and the fifth overall this season.

"It was great. The saferacer.com car did awesome," Daniels said of his qualifying effort. "The whole team did well. We put all of the Team MER cars in the top five, which is the first time we've done that this year. Everyone is running real well. I think we've got a handle on the race track. It was just a matter of working out the handling. I think we've stayed the latest and we've been here the earliest. And, our crew chiefs are the angriest for making as many changes as we've asked of them and it shows on the racetrack."

Daniels can clinch the inaugural MX-5 Cup Drivers' Championship outright with a fifth or better finish tomorrow.

Hainer will start on the outside of row one after powering his No. 13 Under Armour/Team MER Mazda MX-5 to a time of 3:20.233 (80.654 mph). Hainer is coming off a second place finish at Trois-Rivieres.

Saini, who is coming off a disappointing run at Trois-Rivieres, looks to improve this weekend after qualifying third in his No. 28 Team MER/specmiata.com/Autobarn Mazda MX-5 with a time of 3:20.440 (80.570).

Cole, who qualified fourth and is looking for his first trip to the podium this season, is a local resident who looks to put on a show for his hometown fans. Loth, whose previous best qualifying run was 11th at Mid-Ohio, finally broke into the top five qualifying fifth.

The green flag drops for Round Seven of the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook at 10:15 a.m. (MDT) Saturday, Sept. 2.

-credit: scca pro racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series SCCA-PRO