Nashville: Series qualifying notes

LEBANON, Tenn., Friday, July 11, 2008 - James Davison won his first career pole in Firestone Indy Lights. The Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver recorded a two-lap qualifying average of 180.401 mph. His teammate Ana Beatriz will start ...

LEBANON, Tenn., Friday, July 11, 2008 - James Davison won his first career pole in Firestone Indy Lights. The Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver recorded a two-lap qualifying average of 180.401 mph. His teammate Ana Beatriz will start second.

Dillon Battistini and Raphael Matos qualified third and fourth, respectively.

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Medical update from Dr. Mike Olinger, medical director for the Indy Racing League: IndyCar Series driver Enrique Bernoldi and Firestone Indy Lights driver Cyndie Allemann were re-evaluated at the infield care center Thursday following incidents last weekend at Watkins Glen. Both are cleared to drive.

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First-year Firestone Indy Lights team Alliance Motorsports returns to competition after missing the doubleheader weekend at Watkins Glen. The team has completely re-reworked its Dallara chassis, using 73 man hours to give it a completely new body fit, freshened components and a new paint scheme designed by Clint Eads of Eads Graphics.

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Fans can take an active role in Saturday's Firestone Indy Lights race at Nashville Superspeedway while helping a great cause through Andrew Prendeville's Racing Laps for Best Friends program.

Through a Web site at racinglapsforbestfriends.com, fans can make donations to the not-for-profit Best Friends Animal Society based on the number of laps Prendeville completes in the 77-lap race.

In addition to making per-lap donations, fans can also purchase Best Friends raffle tickets at racinglapsforbestfriends.com. Prizes are sessions at the famous Bertil Roos Racing School.

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SWE POLE QUALIFYING NOTES:

* This is the first career pole for James Davison. His previous best was second at Indianapolis.

* This is the 28th pole position for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, and its first this season. The team has won four poles at Nashville with Thiago Medeiros in 2004, Jaime Camara in 2005 and Alex Lloyd in 2007.

* Ana Beatriz qualified a career-best second. Her previous best qualifying effort was third at St. Petersburg. Her best start on an oval was fourth at Indianapolis.

* This is the 14th time teammates have started 1-2 in Firestone Indy Lights. Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammates have been responsible for all 14 occurrences. The most recent time teammates started 1-2 was at Homestead-Miami in 2005 when Travis Gregg won the pole and Jaime Camara started second.

* Dillon Battistini qualified third, his fifth top-three start this season.

* Raphael Matos qualified fourth, his 10th consecutive top-10 start, longest streak in Firestone Indy Lights.

* Arie Luyendyk Jr. qualified fifth, his third top-five start of the season.

* Jeff Simmons qualified sixth, his seventh top-10 start of the season.

* Last year's race winner, Robbie Pecorari, qualified 16th.

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FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES:

JAMES DAVISON (No. 11 Lifelock/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, first): "I just want to thank my team so much for persevering with me. I maintained before qualifying that it only matters from qualifying onwards. Here we are, starting on the front row. We have a great balance on the car and as (team owner) Sam (Schmidt) reminded me, they aren't awarding prize money for practice."

ANA BEATRIZ (No. 20 Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, second): "The car was really, really good. I was really happy. There were no mistakes with my laps. Unfortunately, James (Davison) just did a better job. Now I just need to sit down with my engineer and work on the best setup for the race. I believe that we'll be able to contend with the Sam Schmidt/Healthy Choice car tomorrow."

RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., fourth): "We were a little bit conservative with the setup. We found a lot more speed in qualifying than we had in practice. The AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing car is running good, so I think we have a very strong car for tomorrow. Starting in the top five is always good."

ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 26 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., fifth): "The run was pretty good. We had a little too much understeer on the warm-up laps, but we made some adjustments in the car. I think the Targus/AGR/AFS car will be strong tomorrow. It's a tough place to run 100 miles because it's challenging for the cars and the drivers."

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SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):
2:45 p.m. Sunbelt Rentals 100 pre-race
3:30 p.m. Sunbelt Rentals 100 (77 laps/100 miles)

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The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Firestone Indy 200 July 12 at Nashville Superspeedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 8 p.m. (EDT) by ESPN. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Sunbelt Rentals 100 on July 12 at Nashville Superspeedway. The race will be telecast at 2 p.m. (EDT) July 17 on ESPN2. The Corning Duels will be telecast at 2 p.m. (EDT) July 10 on ESPN2 and live on www.indycar.com.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Enrique Bernoldi , Sam Schmidt , Andrew Prendeville , Jeff Simmons , Alex Lloyd , Robbie Pecorari , Travis Gregg , Jaime Camara , James Davison , Cyndie Allemann , Ana Beatriz , Dillon Battistini , Thiago Medeiros , Arie Luyendyk Jr.