IPS: Cunningham earns first career pole at the Glen

Wade Cunningham won the pole position for tomorrow's Corning 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race on the 3.37-mile Watkins Glen road course. As the fastest driver in practice, Cunningham had the choice of going out first or last in single car ...

Wade Cunningham won the pole position for tomorrow's Corning 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race on the 3.37-mile Watkins Glen road course. As the fastest driver in practice, Cunningham had the choice of going out first or last in single car qualifying. He chose to go last. When Jeff Simmons posted a lap over a second and a half faster than Jaime Camara, Cunningham knew he had his work cut out for him.

"I saw Jeff had turned a really lap time. It was his best of the weekend, so I was really pushing hard from the out lap trying to get heat in the tires. Going into turn one I drove it too hard and beached the car up on the middle of the curb. All four wheels were off the ground for maybe a split second. I thought the lap was over so I pushed harder."

This is Cunningham's first career Infiniti Pro Series pole and the first for his team Brian Stewart Racing.

Jeff Simmons will start second for the third time this season. "I left a little bit out there but I'm sure Wade could say the same thing, you never drive the perfect lap."

Saving a new set of tires paid off for Jaime Camara, who will start third in a Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry. Camara shaved over a second off his best time in Saturday's practice session when he was seventh fastest after recording a lap at 1:42.6167. After mounting brand new tires for qualifying, Camara stopped the clocks at 1:41.5943. "I think if we could have more time practicing we are going to be better," said Camara. After missing most of Friday's first practice session to a thick cover of fog, many teams where left searching for the optimum setup for the fast 3.37-mile road circuit.

The Pro Series will return to the circuit for a fifteen minute practice session at 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning. "It's a long race for us," said Camara, "so we need to save the tires a little and be there at the end fighting for a good position."

The fight will come early rather than later as Camara will have Marco Andretti starting next to him on the outside of the second row. "We just have to get a good start, and hopefully, get these cars on cold tires," Andretti said.

Despite limited practice time, Bobby Wilson will start fifth. Wilson went off course in Friday's practice session forcing the team to make all their adjustments during Saturday's half hour session. "This morning's warm-up was very critical," said Wilson. "I didn't feel all that comfortable with the car this morning, but it's definitely an improvement going into qualifying."

Chris Festa will start sixth followed by Larry Connor and Festa's Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Travis Gregg in eighth.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Larry Connor , Sam Schmidt , Jeff Simmons , Chris Festa , Travis Gregg , Wade Cunningham , Jaime Camara , Bobby Wilson