SunTrust On Pole -- Pontiac Pole Streak In Tact For 2007 Collins Puts GXP.R On Second Row Homestead, Fla., Mar. 23, 2007 -- Jan Magnussen driving his SunTrust Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype drove to the pole position for tomorrowb^@^Ys...
SunTrust On Pole -- Pontiac Pole Streak In Tact For 2007
Collins Puts GXP.R On Second Row
Homestead, Fla., Mar. 23, 2007 -- Jan Magnussen driving his SunTrust Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype drove to the pole position for tomorrowb^@^Ys running of the Linder Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Kelly Collins piloted the No. 07 Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R to a fourth place qualifying effort in GT.
SunTrust maintained the perfect pole streak on the 2007 Grand-Am season for Pontiac with Jan Magnussen delivering a time of 1:14.321 and a speed of 93 mph. The Dane will be joined on the front row by the No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley of Jon Fogarty, the team's third straight front row staring position.
"We had a very good morning session and that carried over to qualifying," Magnussen said. "This is a big market for SunTrust so the pole is a good start to the weekend. The team still has a little work to do in the morning practice, but right now we have a pretty good car. We have two third place finishes so far this year; we need to turn this into a win tomorrow afternoon."
Jon Fogarty helped keep the momentum going for the GAINSCO Pontiac team with a second place qualifying effort. The team is still riding high from their first ever win at Mexico City three weeks ago.
"The team is riding on the momentum from our win in the last race," Fogarty said. "We had limited track time yesterday due to the rain and cars going off in practice. The car has really good speed through NASCAR three and four and it also transitions well coming off of the bank into turn one. The weather should be about the same for the race tomorrow as it was today, so I hope our car will be this good come race time."
Colin Braun took the controls of the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley for the qualifier. The 18-year old Texan could not backup his pole run from Mexico City.
"We were still working on the setup of the car in qualifying," Braun said. "The limited running from the rain put us a little behind. The car is not bad, we need to try a few more adjustments in tomorrow's morning session, but we are pretty close to having what we need for the race."
The No. 91 Riley-Mathews Pontiac was driven by owner/driver Jim Mathews and will roll away from the start from the seventh row.
"I developed a push early on in the session," Mathews explained. "I am not sure if I was over driving the car or the tires are going away that quickly. The car overall felt pretty good and I think we are relatively close to having a fast race setup. We will talk it over, look at the weather and throw the dice."
In GT, The Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R driven by Kelly Collins will start from the second row in fourth based on the Californian's time of 1:21.164.
"We are a second off of the pole, we need some help to get closer," Collins said. "The tires are really falling off fast. In qualifying you really have one-and-a-half laps to get it right, so you have to make it count. With that in mind there is no conserving, you have run the race pace and hope everyone else's tires fall off faster than yours. "
In the companion Banner GXP.R, Boca Raton, Florida resident Tim Lewis Jr. will start from the sixth row in his No. 06 Pontiac.
"The car was better than this morning," Lewis said. "I caught traffic on my fast lap and that cost me a lot of time and then the yellow came out. We have a good balance on the car and we should be able to realize pretty even tire wear. It will be key to keep the car under us as long as possible for the race."
Racers Edge Motorsports have returned with drivers Lawson Aschenbach and Mark Pavan. Aschenbach qualified the No. 30 GXP.R in 15th for tomorrow's race.
"The team had to change the motor after this mornings practice," Aschenbach said. "We really haven't had the opportunity to tune on the car at all yet. The guys did a great job to get the motor plugged in for qualifying. We will have to use every minute of practice to improve the handling as there was a lot of oversteer in qualifying."
-credit: gm racing