IPS: Mid-Ohio: RLR/Andersen Racing qualifying report

RLR/Andersen Racing's Prendeville Qualifies Third In Indy Pro Series Action at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio, July 21 - RLR/Andersen Racing's Andrew Prendeville ran a sizzling lap of 1:14.4874 (an average of 109.130 miles per hour) around...

RLR/Andersen Racing's Prendeville Qualifies Third In Indy Pro Series Action at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio, July 21 - RLR/Andersen Racing's Andrew Prendeville ran a sizzling lap of 1:14.4874 (an average of 109.130 miles per hour) around the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course's 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course Saturday morning to qualify third in the Best Friends Animal Society No. 5 for Sunday morning's Indy Pro Series race here.

It was the Fairfield, N.J.-based team's best qualifying effort to date in its rookie season in this series. Showcasing the depth of talent of the crew and its hard work, it came in a back-up car the team prepared in just four days after Prendeville's primary car was damaged in a crash last Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway.

The 25-minute qualifying session was very dramatic. Daniel Herrington brought out one yellow flag early when he spun in Turn 5 and got hung up on a curb, which cost some time. With about 15 minutes left in the session he brought out another yellow when he hit a tire wall in Turn 12, leaving only 4 minutes left in the session at the restart.

The temperature of each car's Firestone Firehawk tires and track position during those last 4 minutes affected the results. The two drivers who ran slightly faster than Prendeville did eked ahead at the very end as their tires continued to get hotter. Luck also played a role depending on traffic and where the drivers were on course when time ran out and the scoring stopped.

In the dramatic last seconds Prendeville had the pole for an instant, but Alex Lloyd retook it a few heartbeats later. When the checkered waved it looked like Stephen Simpson may have gotten by both of them, but the timing was still underway and Lloyd ended up winning the SWE Pole Award when his final lap was run in 1:13.7719 (110.188 mph).

Lloyd's team had put on a new set of tires on his car for the restart, gambling that they'd come up to their optimum temperature in time to give him an edge for his last lap and that there would be no more cautions. It was a risky move but it paid off with the pole and an automatic track record, since this is t he first Indy Pro Series event at Mid-Ohio.

Simpson ended up second with a 1:14.0056 in the extremely competitive series. Prendeville was third, only 0.7155 of a second off the pole-winning time while on the same set of tires throughout the session, which bodes well for his chances in the race. The Morristown, N.J.-based driver will share Row 2 with Richard Antinucci, who was fastest in practice on Friday.

Joey Scarallo of Smithtown, N.Y. qualified 18th in the other RLR/Andersen Racing entry when he posted a time of 1:17.4058 (105.015 mph) with his GroupAWheels.com No. 15. His car was also involved in the Nashville crash, but looked as sharp as ever here at Mid-Ohio. Prendeville's car also looked great but it's a little different than it's been in the past, as the backup car has an all-black motif instead of the primary car's predominately silver and red livery.

Tomorrow's 40-lap or 60-minute race starts at 10:45 a.m. Eastern time. Live timing and scoring will be available on indycar.com/pro. ESPN2 will air its coverage of the event at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, July 26.

After Sunday's race, the next event is Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.

Andersen Racing is the official Indy Pro Series team of Hilliard, Ohio-based IndyCar team Rahal Letterman Racing. It provides a complete program of training for up-and-coming drivers, fielding multiple entries in the Hankook Tires F2000 Championship Series and the Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear in addition to the Indy Pro Series.

For more information see andersenracingteam.com, indycar.com/pro, racinglapsforbestfriends.com and GroupAWheels.com.

Quotes follow:

Andrew Prendeville: "That's the least I could do for all the hard work the crew put in. They prepared a whole new car in about three days.

"It's our best qualifying position yet, so we're happy.

"I had the pole on my last lap. They were behind me on the last lap. Tire temperature and track position definitely played a role.

"Starting position is very important here. Starting in the top-two rows is crucial. Once you drop out of the first two rows, your chances of winning here decrease dramatically."

Joey Scarallo: "Everything was fine; we went faster than we ran in practice. I just got no clear laps."

Dan Andersen (team owner): "I'm extremely proud of the effort put in by the entire RLR/Andersen Racing crew to get two race cars ready in four days after the Nashville accident. The cars not only looked terrific but they performed well too, as evident by the P3 qualifying result."

-credit: rlr/ar

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Andrew Prendeville , Richard Antinucci , Alex Lloyd , Stephen Simpson , Daniel Herrington