IPS: Medeiros grabs Indy Freedom 100 pole

IPS: Medeiros grabs Indy Freedom 100 pole

Thiago Medeiros earned the pole position for Saturday's Futaba Freedom 100 Infiniti Pro Series race after averaging 189.274 mph around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After practice, it was evident the pole would come down to a three way...

Thiago Medeiros earned the pole position for Saturday's Futaba Freedom 100 Infiniti Pro Series race after averaging 189.274 mph around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After practice, it was evident the pole would come down to a three way battle between Medeiros, Paul Dana and Marty Roth.

Thiago Medeiros.
Photo by indyracing.com/Dana Garrett.
With Paul Dana posting a lap at 189.240 mph early in qualifying, Medeiros had an idea of what he would need to take the pole. Medeiros was next to last in the qualifying order with Marty Roth scheduled to run last.

"I was one of the last cars to go out for qualifying, and I saw that the other guys, when the tires got too much temperature, they had too much grip," said Medeiros. "One thing I tried to learn is to be more careful in the first warm-up lap and started pushing hard in the other two. That's the trick I learned from watching the other guys run and that's what I did and put everything together."

Medeiros, who captured his third career pole today, leads the Menards Infiniti Pro Series standings after a second at Miami and a convincing victory at Phoenix where he lapped the field.

Paul Dana's time held up for outside front row. "The car was moving around a bit underneath me so I maws a little conservative," said Dana. "If I had widened the arc a little bit in all four corners, I think it's a tenth over the other two laps, it's so close. I'm not really angry at these guys. I'm angry at myself. I think we left a little bit on then table, and Thiago and the Sam Schmidt team are good enough that if you do that, they're going to take it from you."

Jeff Simmons qualified third after his second lap dropped off by nearly a tenth of second. "I knew the first lap was good. I'm not sure why we slowed down a little bit on the second one," said Simmons after recording laps at 189.350 and 189.051 mph. "You get a little gust of wind or anything around here can change it. But the guys at A.J. Foyt Racing did a great job on the Delphi/Futaba team here. We've got a good place to start."

Jay Drake continued to make impressive runs in his first appearance in an Infiniti Pro Series event. "Just to come here and get to drive around this racetrack, it's a dream come true for me," said the veteran USAC racer. "To come here and qualify for a race and have them say, 'It's a new track record,' that's something you dream of as a little boy, and you never really think it's going to happen in any form. If nothing else happens this weekend, it's been awesome already."

Arie Luyendyk Jr. will start fifth after his speed dropped off dramatically during his second qualifying lap. Luyendyk, whose teammate Medeiros will start on the pole, averaged 189.439 mph on his first lap, but his second fell to 188.799 for an average of 189.118 mph. "The car was really good on the warm-up lap, and it just had a little bit of understeer, so I cranked the weight-jacker all the way to the front, hopefully to get the thing a little more neutral. In the middle of (turn) two, it had a big wiggle. I kept my foot in it, but I think it kind of hurt us for the first lap, and then the second lap was slower just because the engine heats up and these cars get progressively slower the more you are on the track."

After setting the fastest time in both practice sessions, Marty Roth was a favorite for the pole. Roth averaged 188.959 mph and will start sixth. "I went flat out," said Roth. "We're going to have to go through it and figure out what happened out there. Could've been this wind throwing the car off, who knows. Still a great car, can't be too dispappointed."

Phil Giebler, currently second in points, will start seventh, followed by Billy Roe and Cory Witherhill. Jon Herb rounds out the top ten.

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Jon Herb , Billy Roe , Sam Schmidt , Marty Roth , Jeff Simmons , Paul Dana , Jay Drake , Phil Giebler , A.J. Foyt , Thiago Medeiros , Arie Luyendyk Jr.