Cleveland: Daniel Di Leo Friday notes

Di Leo captures front row starting position for Cleveland Grand Prix "Look for Daniel Di Leo to make a move for the lead early in the race" (Toronto, Ontario) 21-year-old Daniel Di Leo (Daniel Di Leo Auto Sports / Select Auto Collision) hit the...

Di Leo captures front row starting position for Cleveland Grand Prix
"Look for Daniel Di Leo to make a move for the lead early in the race"

(Toronto, Ontario) 21-year-old Daniel Di Leo (Daniel Di Leo Auto Sports / Select Auto Collision) hit the Burke Lakefront Airport temporary circuit Thursday afternoon for his first practice session of the weekend. Right away his previous experience on the airport surface showed as he was one of the quickest on the time sheets. Di Leo was hoping that the early speed would result in the provisional pole that was up for grabs in the first round of qualifying.

"The car felt good," explained Di Leo "and I feel I have a chance to make a run at pole." The first opportunity to secure the pole position came later that afternoon as the Barber Dodge Pro Series (BDPS) cars prepped for qualifying. After being at the top of the charts in practice, the Markham, Ontario resident was looking to secure a front row starting position by taking advantage of provisional qualifying. Di Leo hit the course with a vengeance but came up just shy of pole position and the bonus championship point that goes along with it.

"I was on pole for the entire session until the very last lap." Daniel is referring to the final few moments in round 1 qualifying which saw his chances at pole deteriorate. "When I lost the pole to Leo I was going to go for it. My car was getting quicker and I was on a hot lap when I saw the red. I knew that there was no time left and the session would be over." The red flag flew over the circuit when Luis Pelayo found himself in the tire wall in turn 8 and ultimately ran the session out of time. Di Leo showed his poise and began to focus on what would become a very important Friday qualifying session.

By the time second round qualifying rolled to the grid Friday afternoon, Di Leo was showing his determination and was ready to go. From the very first lap he found himself near the top of the charts sitting in second position. Though unable to grab the pole, Di Leo did improve on yesterdays qualifying session and secured the off pole starting position. In a phone interview from the track, Di Leo expressed that his car is very fast in the early stages of the session while on cold tires. "It should be an interesting start," stated Di Leo. "First and second in the points on the front row heading into turn one should be very exciting." Look for Di Leo to make a move early in the race and try to run away from the field.

Di Leo sits second in the points race and will look to close the gap in tomorrows Cleveland Grand Prix. Race time for the BDPS is scheduled for 3:15pm Saturday afternoon. Visit the Barber Dodge Pro Series online at www.barberdodge.com for up-to-date results and live timing.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Luis Pelayo