SCC: Phoenix: Qualifying notes

Powell, Schmitt take Grand-Am Cup Poles with record-breaking laps. PHOENIX, Ariz. (May 2, 2003) -- Devon Powell picked up his first pole position of the season at Phoenix International Raceway today during qualifying for Saturday afternoon's ...

Powell, Schmitt take Grand-Am Cup Poles with record-breaking laps.

PHOENIX, Ariz. (May 2, 2003) -- Devon Powell picked up his first pole position of the season at Phoenix International Raceway today during qualifying for Saturday afternoon's Grand-Am Cup Phoenix 200 Grand Sport race, and John Schmitt posted a quick qualifying time to earn his spot at the front of the grid for tonight's Grand-Am Cup UnitedAuto 200 Sport Touring race.

Powell set a new Grand Sport I class record with his 1:05.261 lap at 83.296 mph in the #11 Corvette of Powell Motorsports. He improved upon the previous record set by John Heinricy last year by 0.138.

"We brought roughly the same setup that we had at Homestead. It's rare that we ever setup the car for the oval, especially on these shorter, flat ovals. Generally speaking, on the oval part we can tune the car aerodynamically, as opposed to having to deal with the suspension," explained Powell of his pole-winning car's setup.

John Kohler clocked the best time in the GS II class, turning a 1:08.855 lap at 78.949 mph in the TF Racing #47 Mustang Cobra R.

"Last night we developed a wiring problem, and sure as heck it started again today. As soon as we got in three laps, it picked up again," said Kohler, whose happiness of getting the class pole was overshadowed by his car's trouble. "I just hope we can find it before the race. With these electrical problems, it's not simple. The motor just keeps shutting off in fourth gear."

Schmitt will lead the field of Sport Touring entries to the green flag for tonight's 200-mile race. He earned his spot on the front row with a record-breaking 1:10.223 lap at 77.411 mph at the wheel of the Honda of America Racing Team #00 Acura RSX-S. Schmitt topped the previous record of Ken Dobson by 0.094 to take the pole and new Sport Touring I record.

"The car is real good. The guys have been working on it for three straight days, taking it apart and putting it back together," said Schmitt. "The car is really a perfect balance between the oval and the infield. We aren't giving up one area for another, which is what is key for this track."

Ed Magner posted the quickest time in the ST II class in the WTF Engineering #48 Chevy Cavalier, putting together a 1:13.819 lap at 73.640 mph.

"I probably could have gone a little faster, but on my clean flyer I locked it up one time," remarked Magner. "We put it on the pole anyway though, and it feels good."

Tickets are currently on sale for Saturday's AJ's Fine Foods 250 and Grand-Am Cup Phoenix Sport Touring 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, and can be purchased at the gate for tonight's Grand-Am Cup UnitedAuto Grand Sport 200 on Friday, May 2. Tickets can be purchased online at www.phoenixinternationalraceway.com.

Additional information on the Rolex Series is available online at www.grandamerican.com.

-garra-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers John Heinricy , Devon Powell , Ken Dobson , John Schmitt , John Kohler