Hemmingson takes first-career pole at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 9, 2003) -- Chuck Hemmingson, of W. Des Moines, Iowa, was not in the top three of today's 20-minute SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car session at Mid-Ohio ...
Hemmingson takes first-career pole at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 9, 2003) -- Chuck Hemmingson, of W. Des Moines, Iowa, was not in the top three of today's 20-minute SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car session at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course until after the checkered flag flew, but when it did, he had his first-ever series pole. Ken Dobson, of Carmel Valley, Calif., and Bob Endicott, of San Pedro, Calif., completed the top three.
In a session which started damp and gradually dried throughout, the conditions came to Hemmingson's No. 19 ARC Racing/TBPG/Red Line/Mazdaspeed Mazda Protege ES, which was shod with dry Toyo Tires. His final lap of 1:42.487 (79.315 mph) took the pole from Endicott's No. 64 King Motorsports/Mugen Power Acura RSX-S.
"Actually, I thought if we went a whole session in the wet, I would be a contender for the pole," Hemmingson said of his qualifying run. "This Mazda Protege is really hooked up, it does things right, it's really good, and I am pretty pleased with it in the dry. But, Shauna [Marinus] and Jeff [Altenburg] were running quicker than me in the dry. So maybe this little bit of dampness gave me the advantage I needed to be quicker than they were.
"I knew it would be drying out. They told me it was going to be the last lap. It was a little wet back there around the "Esses" and it was starting to rain, but it wasn't enough to slow me down or anyone down for that matter. So we got in a good hard clean lap."
Four cars traded the top spot in the final laps of the session. Bill Auberlen, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., and his Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs BMW 325i started the shuffling when he ran a fast lap of 1:44.035. Charles Espenlaub, of Lutz, Fla., quickly knocked Auberlen from the top spot turning a lap of 1:43.793 in his ARC Racing/Circuit City Mazda Protege. Endicott, who had been second quickest in both practice sessions, shuffled Espenlaub from the top spot with his lap of 1:43:660. But, after all the late shuffling at the top, Hemmingson was the one who came away with the pole.
Point leader Auberlen and Espenlaub eventually qualified fourth and fifth, respectively.
Marinus, of Folsom, Calif., who had been the quickest in both practice sessions, qualified 12th on the grid.
The standing start for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car race is set for 8:55 a.m. (EDT) Sunday, Aug. 10.
For more information, including live timing and scoring, visit www.world-challenge.com.
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