IRL: Texas: Kelley Racing qualifying report

Unser earns best start of IRL career in Boomtown 500. Kelley Racing driver Al Unser Jr. will start third in Saturday night's Boomtown 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. This is not only his best starting position at Texas Motor Speedway, but also his...

Unser earns best start of IRL career in Boomtown 500.

Kelley Racing driver Al Unser Jr. will start third in Saturday night's Boomtown 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. This is not only his best starting position at Texas Motor Speedway, but also his best start since joining the Indy Racing League in 2000.

Unser was second driver out for this evening's qualifying session and his speed of 218.214 mph looked as though it would earn him his first Indy Racing League MBNA Pole Award. However as the session was nearing the final qualifiers, teammates Eddie Cheever Jr. and Tomas Scheckter came up with just enough speed to move Unser back to the second row.

"Every race this Corteco team improves as we all get to know one another better," said Unser. "I lost the front end just a little and we were just a little too optimistic on our gear choice, but it really is a good qualifying effort for our team. We definitely have a car capable of running up front."

Unser's teammate Scott Sharp was hoping for another front row start, but problems with his car caused him to qualify 16th only half a second behind the pole winner. Sharp is currently sixth in the IRL Drivers Championship and will be going for his third consecutive win in the Boomtown 500.

"The car really surprised me," said Sharp. "It got really loose in every corner. I felt like I was just sliding all the way through the corners. The Delphi crew does a great job with race setup, so I'm not worried at all about Saturday's race. We're ready for our third Boomtown 500 victory."

This is the first night race of the season and will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. EDT Saturday, June 8 on ESPN and the IMS Radio Network.

-kr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Scott Sharp