Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team qualifies fourth at VIR ALTON, Va. - Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team driver Joey Hand will start fourth for tomorrow's Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway. Driving the No. 23 Ruby...
Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team qualifies fourth at VIR
ALTON, Va. - Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team driver Joey Hand will start fourth for tomorrow's Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway.
Driving the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche-powered Crawford Daytona Prototype, Hand recorded a fast qualifying time of 1:44.439 (112.717 mph) around the 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course. Originally, Hand qualified sixth, but the No. 01 Lexus Riley and No. 99 Pontiac Riley were sent to the back after failing the post qualifying tech inspection. Hand's fourth-place qualifying effort is a season-best for the team, despite the fact that Hand has had limited track time in the No. 23 machine at VIR.
"It was a toss up right before the session to see who was going to qualify the car," Hand said. "Bill [Auberlen] is a great
qualifier. I would have loved to see him qualify this thing. The car is so much better. This is the best the car has ever been in terms of speed and comfort. I didn't get everything out of it. But, I am excited about where we are."
"We're making progress," team owner Alex Job said. "We qualified sixth. We were actually P3 in the practice session right before qualifying. I think Joey did a great job. Joey did not get much time in the car this morning. As usual, he dug deep and did well. It does not matter which guy [Hand or Auberlen] is in the car. You'd have to look at the helmet [to know who is driving]. Both guys are fast."
Tomorrow's weather forecast calls for rain. This would be a welcomed sight for the Ruby Tuesday team, as both Hand and Auberlen are excellent drivers in the rain. Also, historically, the No. 23 machine has performed well in the rain.
"From what I am hearing, the weather tomorrow could be wet," Job said optimistically. "That would be fine by us."
"If you look at our past experience in the rain, it means good things for us," Hand said. "The only time I drove this car in the rain was at Daytona and we led the race by 40 seconds. I have good times in the rain. I've raced here in the rain. So, statistically we are good in the rain."
Auberlen and Hand have enjoyed success at VIR. In fact, they won the Koni Challenge GS season finale at VIR last year. Currently, the teammates are 13th in the Daytona Prototype driver point standings with 66 points (36 points behind the point leaders), while the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team is seventh in the Daytona Prototype team point standings with 66 points.