Houston Kane and Simmons qualify fourth and eighth

Team KOOL Green teammates Jonny Kane and Jeff Simmons qualified fourth and eighth, respectively, for Sunday’s Indy Lights race in downtown Houston. Kane sat at the top of the standings in morning practice and looked destined to remain there in...

Team KOOL Green teammates Jonny Kane and Jeff Simmons qualified fourth and eighth, respectively, for Sunday’s Indy Lights race in downtown Houston. Kane sat at the top of the standings in morning practice and looked destined to remain there in qualifying, but he spun and hit the tires in turn 9, knocking off the rear wing and damaging the gearbox. Simmons, who had struggled with his set-up on Friday, was showing improvement but was the victim of two red flags that temporarily stopped the session, both coming out just as he was making quick laps on new tires.

Casey Mears will start from the pole after posting a lap of 1:04.722 (84.936 mph). Townsend Bell is second on the grid (1:04.905 / 84.696 mph) and Derek Higgins is third (1:04.979 / 84.600 mph).

There is a morning warm-up session for Indy Lights drivers tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m., with Sunday’s 50-lap race scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. The race will be televised on tape delay on ESPN2, Sunday, Oct. 8, at 5:00 p.m. (All times are Central Daylight Time)

JEFF SIMMONS, #26 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20:
(8th with a lap time of 1:05.141 / 84.389 mph)

“This morning in practice the car was pretty good, especially considering the old tires we were on. We came out this afternoon and the understeer was back like yesterday. I don’t know if the track was starting to come to us or if the changes we made helped, but at the end of the qualifying session the KOOL car was getting better and better. I think in a couple more laps we could definitely have moved up the grid. I don’t know if I would have been on pole or not but I think we’d have been in the first couple of rows. My best lap was my last one before the red, and I think I was on one that was better when the red flag came out. And I’d just put new tires on when the first red came out. So we have to start back in 8th and it’s going to be really tough to pass. It’s a shame the reds didn’t work out right for us today.”

JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20:
(4th with a lap time of 1:04.985 / 84.692 mph)

“I did a pretty good time early on then backed off for a lap, and then was going for another quick one and just went a little bit wide at one corner and spun the car around. I nudged the tire wall with the rear wing and unfortunately broke the gearbox casing as well, so it took a little while to fix it. We had an eight-minute penalty because of that (causing a red flag) but we were able to serve it while making the repairs in the pits. I only got a total of eight laps in. I think if I could have got one more lap in at the end I might have been able to get pole. We’ve been one of the quickest all weekend, it’s just unfortunate I made a slight mistake. But the Team KOOL Green crew did a great job getting me back out and we’ll give it a good run tomorrow.”

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Casey Mears , Townsend Bell , Derek Higgins , Jonny Kane , Jeff Simmons