Mark Taylor earned his fourth career Menards Infiniti Pro Series pole position this afternoon in qualifying for Saturday's California 100. Taylor matched A.J. Foyt IV's record for career poles after turning a lap at 188.472 mph. Mark ...
Mark Taylor earned his fourth career Menards Infiniti Pro Series pole position this afternoon in qualifying for Saturday's California 100. Taylor matched A.J. Foyt IV's record for career poles after turning a lap at 188.472 mph.
Ed Carpenter, who has three career poles, will start second, after missing the top spot by 0.0026 seconds. Carpenter's average speed was 188.459 mph.
Even though he managed to secure the pole, Taylor thought he left something on the table. "This morning the wind and heat really changed the track. It put a lot of push in the car. We were a little bit worried about it, so we were a bit conservative for qualifying. I bet we could have gone a little bit quicker."
Taylor leads the championship by 71 points, having scored six victories. "Mark had had a pretty dominant year, a year everyone dreams about," said Carpenter. "If it's a close call, he usually gets the breaks. It's just been one of those kind of years.
"Mark has four poles and I have three. We've been duking it out by the thousands of a second."
Despite setting the fastest practice lap of the day at 191.304 mph, Aaron Fike could only manage 188.013 mph in qualifying and will start third.
Thiago Medeiros and Marty Roth will start fourth and fifth, respectively.
G.J Mennen, who was second fastest in practice, will start sixth. Mennen spent both practice sessions running alone, without the aid of a draft, recording a practice lap at 191.090 mph. In qualifying, Mennen's best was 184.835 mph.
Cory Witherhill and Brad Pollard will start seventh and eighth with Jeff Simmons and Billy Roe rounding out the top ten qualifiers.
Two weeks ago at Chicagoland Speedway, Simmons started 13th and finished third after a brilliant drive through the field. "The track has slowed down a lot from this morning. It's almost a second slower."
The California 100 takes the green flag at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.