IPS: Andretti earns pole in Sonoma

Marco Andretti earned the pole position for Sunday's Sonoma 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race at the 2.3-mile Infineon Raceway. Andretti, who topped the three practice sessions leading to qualifying, recorded a lap at 98.307 mph (1:24.2261) to...

Marco Andretti earned the pole position for Sunday's Sonoma 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race at the 2.3-mile Infineon Raceway. Andretti, who topped the three practice sessions leading to qualifying, recorded a lap at 98.307 mph (1:24.2261) to earn his third pole this season.

Andretti has won both races, at St. Petersburg and the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he has started from the pole. "I'm feeling really confident now. I think we have a better race car than a qualifying car."

Bobby Wilson, who is making his Pro Series debut, will start second. Wilson is driving the No. 3 Brian Stewart Racing entry most recently piloted by Arie Luyendyk Jr. "Hats off to Marco. I thought I put together a pretty good lap," said Wilson after stopping the clocks at 1:24.2379.

Jeff Simmons was favored to earn a front row start but is still feeling the effects of an accident with Scott Mayer on Friday. With the qualifying order at IRL events determined by inverting the practice times, slower drivers qualify first. Many were surprised when Simmons and series points leader Wade Cunningham were unable to better Wilson's time.

Simmons will start on the inside of the second row with Cunningham alongside him.

Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammates Chris Festa and Jaime Camara will start fifth and sixth, respectively. Both drivers put together solid runs with faster drivers from practice unable to improve on their times. Using combined practice times to set the qualifying order put Festa and Camara on track before Scott Mansell and Nick Bussell but both Sam Schmidt drivers improved in Saturday's morning practice session with both drivers setting better time than Bussell.

Mansell and Bussell will make up the fourth row when the Sonoma 100 takes the green flag Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Marco Andretti , Scott Mayer , Jeff Simmons , Nick Bussell , Chris Festa , Wade Cunningham , Jaime Camara , Bobby Wilson , Scott Mansell , Arie Luyendyk Jr.