Taylor on the Front Row Again for NJMP 250 The No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara of Wayne Taylor Racing will start Sunday's GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series NJMP 250 from the outside of the front row after qualifying Saturday at New Jersey...
Taylor on the Front Row Again for NJMP 250
The No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara of Wayne Taylor Racing will start Sunday's GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series NJMP 250 from the outside of the front row after qualifying Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville.
Ricky Taylor, who co-drives the SunTrust Racing machine with Italian veteran Max Angelelli, turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 15.416 seconds (107.404 mph) to take the second spot on the starting grid among 32 car-and-driver combinations entered for Sunday's 2-hour, 45-minute race. It was the third consecutive front-row qualifying effort for the 20-year-old Taylor and his fourth in his last six attempts. He qualified on the pole for the second time this season two weekends ago at the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
"That was the epitome of a qualifying session," said Taylor, who earned his first career Rolex Series pole at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., in April. "It was flat out, 110 percent every single lap. It was a lot of fun. I could hear Simon (Hodgson, team manager) on the radio the whole time. Unfortunately, at the end it wasn't 'Jon (Fogarty) is behind you,' it was, 'Jon's up by two-tenths," and I had two laps to do it. The laps were winding down and the tires were falling off and it didn't happen, but I'm just really happy to have the SunTrust car on the front row again, and I'm just looking forward to the race."
Forgarty, the defending series champion along with teammate Alex Gurney, put the No. 99 Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet Riley on the pole for the first time since last season's finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"One of the things Simon was saying on the radio was, 'We don't want to start on the outside,' so I knew we had to do the lap because there are two consecutive right-hand corners (in turns one and two) and you can lose ground there if you're on the outside. So, I'll go through all the scenarios in my mind, even though it seems they're never going to work out like that. I guess we'll just go at it and, if I have a chance on the outside, I guess I'll take that chance and, if not, I'll just try to slot in behind and hold my position."
Fogarty turned a fast lap of 1:15.148 (107.787 mph) to take the top spot. Mark Wilkins qualified third in the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley, while Memo Rojas put the series-leading No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley fourth on the grid.
"I am amazed every single weekend at what Ricky's doing," said team owner Wayne Taylor. "For me, I can't believe it. He really is doing a great job. As a team, we've settled into a really solid groove when it comes to qualifying. It never seems to look very good, especially during these three-day events, when we're running the same set of tires for the first few practice sessions. But we have to sacrifice practice because the rules really don't give you any chance during a three-day weekend to capitalize on your tires. You can use up your five allotted sets before qualifying and the race, and you can't do that. You have to save your tires for qualifying and the race. We were 13th yesterday, but just kept working through our stuff, as usual. The guys were doing a great job and, bang, there we are on the front row, again."