JAMES HINCHCLIFFE LEADS THE WAY FOR SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS IN QUALIFYING AT MID-OHIO LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Changing track conditions created a drama-filled qualifying session on Saturday afternoon at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and when the ...
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE LEADS THE WAY FOR SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS IN QUALIFYING AT MID-OHIO
LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Changing track conditions created a drama-filled qualifying session on Saturday afternoon at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and when the checkered flag flew, James Hinchcliffe found himself just narrowly missing his first Firestone Indy Lights pole as former Sam Schmidt driver James Davison snagged the honors on his last lap.
Wade Cunningham followed in seventh, Gustavo Yacaman in 13th, and Ana Beatriz in 14th.
Rain showered the race course after the morning practice session, leaving damp conditions for the drivers to tackle at the start of qualifying. Hinchcliffe and Beatriz had to sit out the first several minutes of the session as they were required to serve penalties due to infractions in the morning practice session.
By the time the two were able to join Cunningham and Yacaman on the track, the circuit itself was quickly drying, and all competitors began switching to dry weather tires. With each lap turned in, lap times dropped dramatically as drivers gained more grip and confidence in their race cars on the rapidly drying circuit.
With seven minutes to go, Hinchcliffe put himself on the top spot and seemed to be comfortably ahead with a .02 second gap behind him. However, Davison put in a flyer to take over the top spot, and before Hinchcliffe could counter-attack, a yellow flag flew, and due to its closeness to the end of the session, was followed by the checkered flag, taking away the opportunity for Hinchcliffe and all other competitors to improve upon their lap times.
All that's left for Sunday is a 20-minute warm-up that takes place at 8 a.m., followed by the race itself at 10:15 a.m. All on-track session times are listed in EDT and can be seen live via streaming video on indycar.com.
The television broadcast of the Mid-Ohio 100 airs on Monday, August 10, at 4 p.m. EDT on VERSUS.
DRIVER NOTES & QUOTES
#7 HINCHTOWN.com/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver James Hinchcliffe
"It was obviously an interesting session with the way the weather started, and then I actually had a penalty and had to sit out the first 10 minutes. It actually sort of worked in my favor. I got to sit there as everyone else dried up the track. Then, we got out there and the car was really strong right off the bat and we were one of the first guys to go out there on the sticker tires and sent in a really good time early. With five minutes to go we were first, four minutes to go, three minutes to go we were first and then just as that yellow came out, Davison managed to put in a quick lap. It's a bit of a heartbreaker because we were on a quick one too when that yellow came out. But, we know we're there or thereabouts but it's another front row start. It would have been nice to have the pole but I need a good start tomorrow and to stay consistent in the race."
#11 LUCAS OIL/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Wade Cunningham
"I don't think you're really ever satisfied unless you're P1, but looking at how things sorted out, I can't complain. We're starting ahead of Saavedra who we're chasing for second in the championship, and I think J.R. is still within reach too. We've got a pretty solid car, and I'm ready to get the race going and maximize every position and point that I can."
#20 HEALTHY CHOICE/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Ana Beatriz
"Obviously, we're disappointed in our qualifying run. We definitely had a car that was better than 14th. We had a little bit of bad luck at the end of the session. I had just put on a new set of tires, but I only got to put in one timed lap before the last full-course yellow came out followed by the checkered flag. Starting from where we are with the Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt car will make our day more difficult, but I'm still confident that we can take our car forward and put together a good result for the race."
#44 CREPES & WAFFLES/TUVACOL/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Gustavo Yacaman
"I'm expecting to show nothing less than the effort we've shown like we did at Watkins Glen and Edmonton coming up through the field. I'll be hoping for some cautions to keep the field tight and maybe some of the guys in front of me can have some trouble. I'm optimistic that we can have a solid result tomorrow."