MX-5: Portland qualifying notes

Caddell to Start Portland MX-5 Cup Race from Pole PORTLAND, Ore. (July 26, 2008) -- After missing the opening two rounds of the season, Andrew Caddell, of Graham, Wash., proved he hasn't lost an ounce of speed since 2007 by putting his car on...

Caddell to Start Portland MX-5 Cup Race from Pole

PORTLAND, Ore. (July 26, 2008) -- After missing the opening two rounds of the season, Andrew Caddell, of Graham, Wash., proved he hasn't lost an ounce of speed since 2007 by putting his car on pole for Round Three of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup at Portland International Raceway, part of the Mazda Grand Prix of Portland. Teammate Brad Rampelberg, of San Jose, Calif., will start alongside.

He may have been absent for the first two MX-5 Cup races this year, but Caddell showed he still has what it takes to win in the highly competitive spec series, taking his third-career MX-5 Cup pole at his home track.

"We were way loose, but I think that helps here, because if you push you can't get off the corners well," Caddell said. "So it was a little loose, but I got a good tow from Brad [Rampelberg] down the back straightaway and toward the finish line. I didn't think it would be good enough for pole though."

Winner of last year's race at Portland, Caddell stopped the clocks with a 1:27.566 (81.278 mph) in the No. 30 Hooverspeed Victory Lane Data MX-5. The 20-year-old's pole time is now the new MX-5 Cup qualifying lap record at PIR, where there was a slight change to the course configuration, which extended the track length slightly, from 1.967 to 1.977 miles.

"It feels good to give Hooverspeed the pole and get them a one-two in qualifying," Caddell added. "I feel bad we weren't able to get Brad the pole, because that would have helped him out in the Championship. The Hooverspeed team worked really hard last night to get this car here. Brad and I are going to try and formulate something to get away from the field tomorrow. We've got two of the best cars out here, so we'll see what happens."

Driving the No. 14 Hooverspeed/Mazda/Patron Tequila MX-5, Rampelberg entered a fast lap of 1:27.597 (81.249 mph) to put himself a career-high second on the grid.

Christian Franck, of Simi Valley, Calif., will start his No. 16 Alara Racing/Select Painting MX-5 from third. The 17 year-old's best qualifying lap was 1:27.753 (81.105 mph).

Ryan Schimsk, of Austin, Texas, turned a lap of 1:27.879 (80.988 mph) in the No. 81 Team MER/Airco Mechanical MX-5, good enough for fourth.

Ara Malkhassian, of Sonoma, Calif., will take up his best grid position of the season thus far, fifth, in the No. 11 Alara Racing MX-5. Malkhassian turned a lap of 1:28.041 (80.839 mph) in the 30-minute qualifying session.

Robert Michaelian will start sixth ahead of Todd Buras and Steve Welk.

Portland driver and polesitter for last year's race, Brad McAllister, will start ninth.

Current point leader Eric Foss completes the top ten.

In the battle of the writers, "Fast Guys, Rich Guys and Idiots" author Sam Moses, of Hood River, Ore., out-qualified "The Art of Racing in the Rain" author Garth Stein, of Seattle, Wash. Moses will start the race 22nd, while Stein qualified 24th.

Round Three of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup will go green at 12:30 p.m. (PDT) on Sunday. Live timing and lap notes are available at www.mx-5cup.com. The race will air the week of August 18 on DIRECTV, Dish Network and regional cable networks.

-credit: scca pro racing

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Steve Welk , Brad Rampelberg , Ara Malkhassian , Todd Buras , Christian Franck , Andrew Caddell , Eric Foss
Teams Alara Racing