Hylton sweeps front row at Milwaukee; Hunter-Reay earns first career pole. West Allis, Wis. (June 1, 2002) -- Right from the start when the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship teams took to the track on Thursday afternoon, Ryan Hunter-Reay...
Hylton sweeps front row at Milwaukee; Hunter-Reay earns first career pole.
West Allis, Wis. (June 1, 2002) -- Right from the start when the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship teams took to the track on Thursday afternoon, Ryan Hunter-Reay (Hylton Motorsports/Medlock Ames Winery Autobytel U.S. Print Swift 014.a) has been the man to beat. Nothing changed in Saturday afternoon's qualifying as Hunter-Reay shattered Grant Ryley's 2001 record with a time of 24.762 seconds (150.036 mph) to earn his first career $1000 Toyota Pole award."
"This pole is great," said an excited Hunter-Reay. "I have to thank my team and engineer, Kyle Brannan. This team gives 100%, 100% of the time and I am really happy to have been able to get the pole for them, and hopefully, I can give them a win tomorrow. They gave me a great car and the set-up was very good. I was really able to use all of my tools in the car with no problem."
Hunter-Reay's teammate, Roger Yasukawa (Hylton Motorsports/Autobacs U.S. Print Swift 014.a) completed the sweep for Hylton Motorsports with a time of 24.882 seconds (149.313 mph) which was also under Ryley's 2001 record of 24.962 seconds (148.834 mph). The pole is the first for Florida's Hunter-Reay and the second spot will be the best starting position for Yasukawa.
"The session was great," said California's Yasukawa. "Obviously, I would have liked to have won the pole and I was really going for it, but it is terrific to give Hylton their very first front row. We finally found a perfect handle on the car this morning. The track was better than I expected it to be this afternoon. I think we might have been just a little too conservative with the car setup this afternoon."
The pair is also the first set of rookies to take the front row since Joey Hand and Jonathan Macri led the field last year at Laguna Seca. Lynx Racing's David Rutledge and Michael Valiante were the last teammates to sweep the front row accomplishing the feat last year in Montreal.
Alex Gurney (Dorricott Racing/Behr Castrol Swift 014.a) followed up his April runner-up finish at Long Beach with the third fastest time today. Gurney's time of 25.210 seconds (147.370 mph) edged out Canadian, Jonathan Macri (P-1 Racing/NTN Bearings Miller Genuine Draft Swift 014.a), who posted a time of 25.233 seconds (147.236 mph). Scotland's Ryan Dalziel (Michael Shank Racing Swift 014.a) rounded out the top five with a time of 25.339 seconds (146.620 mph).
I didn't have a good idea of where I would end up when qualifying started," said Gurney, who enters Milwaukee fifth in the Championship points standings. "There were too many things happening throughout qualifying to make any predictions. I'm happy with third fastest. It's better than we anticipated. We've been very methodical in practice and have been chipping away and it paid off. Everything came together in a good way for qualifying."
Monterrey race winner and points leader, Jon Fogarty (Dorricott Racing/Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Swift 014.a) qualified sixth with a time of 25.341 seconds (146.608 mph). Long Beach winner and second in the Championship, Michael Valiante will start tomorrow's race from 17th after posting a time of 26.173 seconds (141.948 mph).
Rookies, Carl Russo (Performance Development & Racing Swift 014.a) and Sepp Koster (Michael Shank Racing/Blue Bay Golf Resort Uitert Respons Swift 014.a) did not qualify after separate practice incidents. Koster's car was still under going repairs from yesterday's incident in Turn 2 while Russo was still recovering from minor injuries suffered in a practice accident this morning.
The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship teams get back to business tomorrow morning for their 15-minute warm-up session at 10:15 a.m. CST followed by the 70-lap Round 3 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race at 3:00 p.m. CST. The race will be carried live on Speed Channel 4:00 p.m. EST.
The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship is one of the world's premier open-wheel development series and the top rung on CART's "ladder system", as well as having $100,000 race purses and a one million dollar points fund. It is also noted for its long history of graduating its stars into CART competition. Among the drivers who have graduated from the Atlantic Series are CART Champ Car stars Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani as well as former series champions Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan and Jacques Villeneuve.