Long Beach: Qualifying notes

Pruett tops Long Beach Trans-Am Series trials. LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Scott Pruett continued his assault on the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup speed charts Saturday, earning the pole for Sunday's Long Beach race during early ...

Pruett tops Long Beach Trans-Am Series trials.

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Scott Pruett continued his assault on the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup speed charts Saturday, earning the pole for Sunday's Long Beach race during early morning qualifying Saturday. It was Pruett's second-consecutive pole this season, after having earned the pole prior to winning the season opener at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in February.

The pole was the14th overall for the Jaguar XKR marque, placing Jaguar second in total Long Beach poles with three, just one short of the record held by Ford Motor Co. The pole also ties Rocketsports Racing with Roush Racing with four poles at Long Beach.

"The car is pretty good," said the two-time Trans-Am Series Champion. "We focused on the race setup yesterday. I think we're about 50 percent there. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, when you don't have a lot of track time, you can't make a lot of changes. But with the experience of the team and really playing off what Paul (Gentilozzi) has done with the team over the last couple of years, we're able to see clearly what we need to do. We need to go back and fine tune some things for a good race.

"The tires are great," added Pruett, who last won this race in 1987. "The car was balanced here, the same way as St. Pete. We came in with the same setup we had a St. Pete, and we're making some changes this afternoon and see what we can come up with."

Boris Said, who damaged his car in a crash during practice Friday, was second fastest in his No. 33 New Century Mortgage/Applied Computer Solutions Ford Mustang, with a 1:22.311 (86.074 mph). Defending Long Beach winner Paul Gentilozzi (No. 3 Design 500/Jaguar R Performance XKR) was third fastest (1:22.987/85.372 mph), but a ride-height violation was found in post-qualifying inspection. Gentilozzi will start at the back of the field, while Michael Lewis (No. 12 Trans-Am Tools by ProQuest Jaguar XKR) was elevated to third on the grid.

Johnny Miller, who posted his qualifying time in the second, slower group, rebounded from handling problems in Friday practice to qualify fourth in his. No. 64 WESTCO Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR. Stu Hayner (No. 2 Trenton Forging/GMAC Commercial Finance Chevrolet Corvette) was elevated to fifth, after Gentilozzi's disqualification.

Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed Line Products/COYOTE Closures Chevrolet Corvette) timed 39th, but was also sent to the back of the grid for an unapproved engine change. Ruhlman will start just ahead of Gentilozzi.

Marvin Jones (No. 45 M&L Jones Racing, LLC/BG Products Qvale Mangusta), George Nolte (No. 43 www.Nolte.com/BG Products Ford Mustang), and Joey Scarello (No. 06 ROH Wheels Chevrolet Corvette) will start behind Ruhlman and Gentilozzi due to the 110-percent rule. All were more than four seconds off of the pace.

-scca pro racing/transam-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Scott Pruett , Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller , Randy Ruhlman , Michael Lewis , George Nolte , Marvin Jones , Stu Hayner