Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team qualifies third for Supercar Life 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park MILLVILLE, N.J. - Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team driver Joey Hand qualified third for tomorrow's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car...
Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team qualifies third for Supercar Life 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park
MILLVILLE, N.J. - Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team driver Joey Hand qualified third for tomorrow's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Supercar Life 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Piloting the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche-powered Riley, Hand had four potential pole-winning laps going when he was held up each time in turn 10 by the No. 16 Pontiac Coyote. During each of those four attempts, Hand's predicted lap time was around 1:11.5 - which would have put Hand on the pole for tomorrow's penultimate round of the season. Unfortunately, Hand had to settle for the third-best time of 1:12.028 (112.456).
"We easily had the quickest car in qualifying," Hand said. "We got completely blocked by the No. 16 car. He kept holding me up in turn 10. You just can't pass a car from turn 10 to turn 12 before the front straightaway. He did that to me at least four times.
"One time, I had a run on him down the front stretch, but I just wasn't close enough to pass him down into turn one. I was obviously quicker, but he didn't care. He essentially ruined my qualifying [session]. I could see the telemetry and we had a P1 time, but it doesn't matter if it doesn't happen. It's really too bad because this team really wanted it [the pole] and I really wanted to give it to them. I thought I could bring these guys a pole, but I didn't deliver.
"It's going to be a crazy race tomorrow. I'm going to run it fairly crazy, but smart. We need a good finish, but that finish needs to be a win. Ruby Tuesday needs it. Alex Job Racing needs it. And, I want to win it for our crew, who has put so much blood and sweat into this all year."
"We thought we would change it up a bit and have Joey qualify the car," Team Owner Alex Job said. "He did an outstanding job despite what happened with the No. 16 car. Unfortunately, they may have cost us a shot at the pole because we certainly had a car capable of winning it.
"Now we turn our attention to the race. I believe we have the car to beat. But, to win it, we'll need to implement and execute a near perfect race strategy and I'm confident we'll get it done tomorrow."
As a side note, Hand has turned the fastest lap of the weekend so far. He did it yesterday during the morning DP only practice session with a 1:11.520 (113.255 mph). Though it is not a track record, it does demonstrate just how quick the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche-powered Riley is at the newly built, and still under construction, 2.25-mile New Jersey road course.