IPS: Sears Point I: Series qualifying report

ANTINUCCI NOTCHES FIRST POLE FOR CARNEROS 100 Cheever Racing's Richard Antinucci won the SWE Pole Award for the Carneros 100, the first of a doubleheader weekend for the Indy Pro Series at Infineon Raceway. Antinucci turned a fast lap of ...

ANTINUCCI NOTCHES FIRST POLE FOR CARNEROS 100

Cheever Racing's Richard Antinucci won the SWE Pole Award for the Carneros 100, the first of a doubleheader weekend for the Indy Pro Series at Infineon Raceway. Antinucci turned a fast lap of 1:14.2590, 109.466 mph. Alex Lloyd, who can clinch the series title this weekend, was second quick while Stephen Simpson, Mike Potekhen and Phil Giebler completed the top five. The race will take place Saturday.

INDY PRO SERIES POST QUALIFYING NOTES:

This is Richard Antinucci's first career Indy Pro Series pole position. His previous best starting position was third at the Liberty Challenge at Indianapolis earlier this year.

Alex Lloyd qualified second, his 11th front row start. Lloyd has qualified on the front row in each race where qualifying has been held this season.

INDY PRO SERIES POST QUALIFYING QUOTES:

RICHARD ANTINUCCI (No. 51 Cheever Racing, SWE Pole Award winner): "I'm very proud of breaking the (track) record, but the most important thing is that we're first. I think a lot of people beat the record today. This is another track we finally went and tested at. We had the opportunity to test out here a week ago with other Indy Pro and IndyCar Series teams and that helped a lot. We were able to get four little sessions in and we learned were to go. We have such little testing and only 45 minutes of practice today and then boom, qualifying, so I'm proud of all of my guys.

ALEX LLOYD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, qualified second): "It was a pretty good session. We made some improvements from the first session. We got close, not quite close enough. I'm pretty happy with how we've been today. We didn't test here last week like some of the other guys, including the guy who is on pole, so to come out of the box where we started and be competitive we should be happy with that. We'll make some improvements and get it right for the race and hopefully get it back in victory lane." (About Hideki Mutoh being further back in the field) "They've been up and down a lot this year. Sometimes they've been blisteringly fast, and other times they've not been there. I guess this is one of the weekends that so far they're not quite there. I'm not even thinking about that. Really we're just trying to go out there and win the race. If we can win both races, the championship is not an issue, so we'll just go for that." (About also driving the Grand-Am car this weekend) "It's been good, it's been tough. They're big, heavy cars, very, very different. The driving style that makes me quick in an open-wheel car doesn't work in a Grand-Am, so you've got to try and change that, re-learn it. It's difficult to get the miles."

STEPHEN SIMPSON (No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing, qualified third): "I think from Mid-Ohio to here certainly the road courses are coming together. It's my first time at the circuit, so I think my experience at the start of the day wasn't much compared to a lot of the other drivers, so we had to work extra hard. We did a lot of work with my engineer Doug Forker at the start of the week at the workshop back in Indianapolis. It's nice when you see that the hard work that we do back at the shop pays off on the track. It was a good session. It was nice. Congratulations to Richard for getting the pole. Between him and myself and Alex, we were jostling for position most of the session. It was good to see some really close racing. I'm looking forward to a good day tomorrow and then on Sunday."

MIKE POTEKHEN (No. 53 AvenueCommunities.com, qualified fourth): "We had a chance to come out and test here, which was good. We actually had a productive test day. I think that was the key. I like this track. I grew up out here on the west coast and spent lots of years running at this place, so it's definitely one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. I ran here last year as well (in the Indy Pro Series), and that helped a ton. Our team is just getting better and better each weekend. It's something to show. We really want to finish off the season strong so we can come back next year with a little bit of momentum going. Hopefully, we can finish it off with a good finish tomorrow."

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Richard Antinucci , Alex Lloyd , Phil Giebler , Stephen Simpson , Mike Potekhen , Hideki Mutoh