Jay Howard will start from the pole position for the season-ending Chicagoland 100 at Chicagoland Speedway. Howard, who started from the pole in the season opener at Homestead, turned a lap of 28.9780 seconds, 188.774 mph this afternoon, earning...
Jay Howard will start from the pole position for the season-ending Chicagoland 100 at Chicagoland Speedway. Howard, who started from the pole in the season opener at Homestead, turned a lap of 28.9780 seconds, 188.774 mph this afternoon, earning his second pole of the season.
The single point awarded for the pole gives Howard a nine point lead over Jonathan Klein. Klein, a native of nearby Long Grove, Illinois, qualified second in the No. 27 Klein with a lap of 188.285.
"It's a good start to the weekend," said Howard. "We get one point for pole and two for most laps led, so the plan is to lead as many laps as possible and once I get to the point where no one else can lead more laps, then I'm sure the plans will change."
Howard, who has always said he races to win every event, has changed his tune this weekend, adding, "I'm almost prepared to sacrifice the win once I know that the championship is in the bag. Obviously, I want to win. It's painful to even think about letting someone else win to win the championship. I've got to keep my eyes on the big picture, and the big picture is the championship."
Disappointed that he didn't collect the point for the pole, Klein told Howard that the championship would go down to the wire. "We're going to make sure that we play nice. It's down to the wire, but I'm not going to put ourselves in a position where we can get into trouble at the same time. I'm going to race him hard and race him tough, but we're still going to be safe and respectful."
Rookies Akihira Okamoto and Alex Lloyd qualified third and fourth, while championship contenders Bobby Wilson and Wade Cunningham make up the third row.
Despite struggling a bit in qualifying, Cunningham is always in the mix once the green flag drops. "Obviously in qualifying, we didn't do a good job," he reported. "We are quite a bit away from the pole time. I think we proved in the second session that we can get to the front and race hard. We have been doing that all year. I don't think there is a question that we won't be in the front tomorrow."