Birmingham: Series qualifying report

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Saturday, April 10, 2010) - Frenchman J.K. Vernay, driving the No. 7 Lucas Slick Mist/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, earned the pole position for the 40-lap Firestone Indy Lights Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 11. Charlie ...

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Saturday, April 10, 2010) - Frenchman J.K. Vernay, driving the No. 7 Lucas Slick Mist/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, earned the pole position for the 40-lap Firestone Indy Lights Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 11. Charlie Kimball will start on the front row for the first time in his Firestone Indy Lights career.

FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-QUALIFYING NOTES:

* This is J.K. Vernay's first pole in Firestone Indy Lights. His previous best qualifying was second at St. Petersburg last week.

* Charlie Kimball qualified on the front row for the first time in his Firestone Indy Lights career. His previous best qualifying effort was fifth at Watkins Glen and Homestead in 2009.

* Martin Plowman qualified third - his career-best qualifying effort. His previous best qualifying was fifth at St. Petersburg last week and Indianapolis in 2009.

FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST QUALIFYING QUOTES:

J.K. VERNAY (No. 7 Lucas Slick Mist/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, polesitter): "I am very happy to be on the pole, because yesterday we didn't have very good practice runs. I finished P7 in practice and wasn't very confident heading into today. We worked really late and my crew did a great job on my car. This proves that when you work hard, it pays off. My car was fast today and I felt prepared. Now we have to focus on the race, especially the starts because my starts have not been very good. I think it will help that I am starting first. I want to thank the team for all of their hard work in getting me the pole position."

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 26 Levemir FlexPen, qualified second): "It was a slightly broken up session due to the yellows and trouble on the track, but it was a good run. The #26 Levemir FlexPen car ran great during qualifying. Anytime we went out and had a clean lap, we were quick. We were never outside the top four and when it went green for those last two laps at the end, I had to make sure I had a good gap and put the laps in from there. I was dying to know how I had done once I was on my in lap because the dash beacons are at the start/finish line and the timing is in the back, so I wasn't aware yet of how I had finished. The team told me I was P2 and until they came through on my radio, I didn't know if I had it for sure. I am confident heading into the tomorrow because I think we have a lot better race pace then we do qualifying pace. Putting the car on the front row gives us a pretty good shot. It is really difficult to pass around here, so that will be a challenge on race day. This is a great place to race. It has a little bit of everything; the high speed stuff and the heavy breaking. It is a beautiful facility and Mr. Barber has done an awesome job here. This is one of the best events we have too. I couldn't believe the crowd yesterday. It is going to be a good race tomorrow."

SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE: (all times local):
8-8:20 a.m. Firestone Indy Lights warmup
Noon -1:15 p.m. Firestone Indy Lights GP of Alabama (40 laps)

The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues April 11 with the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union at Barber Motorsports Park. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 3 p.m. (ET) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The race also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Grand Prix of Alabama April 11 at Barber Motorsports Park. The race will air live on indycar.com.

-source: irl

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Charlie Kimball , Martin Plowman