IRL: Atlanta Jeret Schroeder qualifying

HAMPTON, Ga., April 27 — Often it's better to qualify late in an evening qualifying session because the temperature continues to get cooler as the night progresses, but that didn't apply for Vineland, N.J.'s Jeret Schroeder Friday night at...

HAMPTON, Ga., April 27 — Often it's better to qualify late in an evening qualifying session because the temperature continues to get cooler as the night progresses, but that didn't apply for Vineland, N.J.'s Jeret Schroeder Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Schroeder was the last of 27 drivers to face the clock during MBNA qualifying, but the humidity was still higher at that point Friday night than it was during practice Friday afternoon. The Firestone tire engineers working the event recorded the humidity at 31 percent at the start of qualifying, and the Georgia air didn't get any thinner as the night progressed.

That didn't help the driver of the Purity Products/Summit Packaging/Graph to Graphics Dallara Oldsmobile Firestone #9 during his run Friday night. Schroeder ended up 22nd on the grid for tomorrow's 200-lap zMax 500 Indy Racing Northern Light Series race with a qualifying speed of 209.396 mph. His PDM Racing machine will start on the outside of row 11 beside a Dallara driven by Stephan Gregoire of France.

The race will be broadcast live on ESPN2 beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern.

"I don't know what's wrong," Schroeder said moments after unbuckling from the white car. "It feels fast and comfortable. It feels like it's competitive and it's handling well, but we're missing something big that we can't put our finger on.

"Without a big sponsor we don't have many of the updates that our competition has, and with only two practice sessions before qualifying we're playing catch-up to what everybody else did in testing all winter long," he noted.

"We've gone faster every session so we'll keep working and hope that tomorrow is better," he added. "The most important thing is to finish."

Schroeder ran 77 laps in practice Friday afternoon. His fastest lap in practice was a lap at an average speed of 211.313 mph, which was run during the second practice session.

Internet users can get more information at Schroeder's official Web site, www.jeret.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Stephan Gregoire , Jeret Schroeder