IPS: Klein earns career first pole at Kentucky

Jonathan Klein earned his first Indy Racing League Indy Pro Series pole after averaging 189.392 mph around the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway. Klein turned his fastest lap of the event during qualifying while Wade Cunningham, who was fastest after two...

Jonathan Klein earned his first Indy Racing League Indy Pro Series pole after averaging 189.392 mph around the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway. Klein turned his fastest lap of the event during qualifying while Wade Cunningham, who was fastest after two practice sessions, will start second.

"The car was fantastic," said Klein. As for qualifying, "you get in and you hold on. The team did an excellent job and made my part easy." Entered by Andretti Green Racing, Klein's car is prepared by Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

After recording a practice lap at 191.350 mph, Cunningham qualified at 189.019 mph, missing the pole by five one-hundredths of a second. "We had two productive practice sessions," said Cunningham. "In the past we've spent a lot of time working on a qualifying setup and it has bit us. Today we spent a lot of time working on our race set up."

All of the top practice times were set while driving closely behind another car to take advantage of the draft. During both practice sessions, Cunningham could be found working his car in traffic, setting it up for the race. "Our qualifying may have suffered a bit," but we'll have a good car for the race.

Sam Schmidt Motorsports drivers Jay Howard and Travis Gregg will start on the second row. Gregg, who raced at Homestead and Nashville this year, spent practice trying to get comfortable in the car. Gregg was hoping to use the same setup he used at Kentucky in the past but the cars have gone from a single shock configuration at the front to a double shock setup in 2006. The car was "a lot more free," said Gregg.

Undaunted after setting seventh fastest lap (188.564) in practice, Gregg qualified fourth at 187.683 mph. "We didn't run very much in the draft, so I wasn't concerned," about practice.

Jaime Camara qualified fifth at 187.172 mph, putting all four of the cars prepared by Sam Schmidt Motorsports in the top five.

Ben Petter qualified sixth, followed by Tom Wood, Nick Bussell and Bobby Wilson in ninth. Chris Festa rounded out the top ten qualifiers.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Tom Wood , Nick Bussell , Chris Festa , Travis Gregg , Jaime Camara , Jay Howard , Jonathan Klein