(DETROIT, Mich.) June 16, 2000 -Jamie Menninga has a fondness for the Raceway at Belle Isle, home of the Tenneco Grand Prix of Detroit. In 1999, he scored his best career Barber Dodge Pro Series finish with a third place. This time around, the...
(DETROIT, Mich.) June 16, 2000 -Jamie Menninga has a fondness for the Raceway at Belle Isle, home of the Tenneco Grand Prix of Detroit. In 1999, he scored his best career Barber Dodge Pro Series finish with a third place. This time around, the 21-year old from Pella, Iowa sits on pole position for the first time in his Barber Dodge career. Granted, it is the provisional pole with one more qualifying session in preparation for Sunday's race coming tomorrow afternoon. Yet conditions at Belle Isle are often unpredictable as the concrete walls lining the circuit and the local weatherman can attest.
Menninga set his pole time of 1:32.655 sec. (91.151 mph) in his Event Marketing Enterprises, Inc/Lee's Grinding Dodge Reynard on his eighth of nine laps during the 30-minute session around the 2.346-mile city street circuit.
"I went hard right out of the box, thinking that there might be a black flag later on in the session," Menninga said. "The car just kept going faster and faster and the Michelin tires kept coming in so everything worked well.
"I really like this track," Menninga continued. "Hopefully we'll go faster tomorrow and Sunday as well."
Matt Plumb secured the best start position of his career as well. The 25-year old from Unionville, Pa is the 1998 Formula Dodge Southern Series champion, now in his second year of Barber Dodge competition. Sitting just 0.155 sec off of Menninga's time, Plumb is confident that the requisite speed is there for the final session. He set the quick lap on his 11th of 12 total laps run, stopping the clocks at 1:32.711 sec.
"I definitely feel like I could have gone a little bit quicker. Lap traffic was pretty much an issue for everybody here," recalled Plumb. "I turned my fastest lap while I was passing a slower car through turn-1. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and having another crack at it."
Third quick on the day was points leader Jon Jogarty of Portola Valley, Ca. He took the Three Arch Partners Barber Dodge Reynard around the Belle Isle circuit in 1:33.141 sec. Fogarty is having his best season ever in the Pro Series since starting his first race in 1998, and is coming off his second win at Lime Rock Park.
"As soon as I went out I went for it as I thought, like Jamie, that there was a good chance the session would be black-flagged because of an incident," Fogarty said. "It was a good lap, but like everyone else I had to deal with slower traffic."
Championship points contender Sepp Koster finished the session in fourth. He was followed by Swede Thed Bjork who turned in a very solid performance in what is not only his first race at Detroit in his rookie Barber Dodge season, but is also driving in his first race on a circuit of this nature.
Rounding out the Top-10 are Andy Lally (6th), Nilton Rossoni (7th), Brent Sherman (8th), Andre Nicastro, (9th) and Roger Yasukawa (10th).
Final Qualifying is set for Sat. June 17 at 12:20 p.m. EDT.