MX-5 Cup: Portland qualifying notes

Daniels Captures Third MX-5 Cup Pole Of Season at Portland PORTLAND, Ore. (July 22, 2006) -- After two days of more than 100 degree temperatures, the weather may have changed, dropping into the 80s, but the name at the top of the time sheets...

Daniels Captures Third MX-5 Cup Pole Of Season at Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (July 22, 2006) -- After two days of more than 100 degree temperatures, the weather may have changed, dropping into the 80s, but the name at the top of the time sheets is the same, with Jim Daniels, of Germantown, Tenn., capturing the pole for this afternoon's SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook Round Five race at Portland International Raceway, part of the Portland Grand Prix presented by Les Schwab. Daniels' Team MER teammates Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Pratt Cole, of Salt Lake City, completed the top three.

Driving the No. 76 saferacer.com/Team MER Mazda MX-5, current MX-5 Cup point leader Daniels needed only two laps around the 12-turn, 1.964-mile road course to grab the pole with a fast qualifying time of 1:27.890 (80.446 mph). Daniels, who is coming off a win at Mid-Ohio from the pole position, looks to repeat that effort for the second time in as many attempts.

"I think we got it figured out, which is why we are qualifying well," Daniels said of this third pole of the season. "The whole team is doing really well. Saferacer has sponsored me for the last part of the season with our safety equipment and I want to thank them for their help. I just went out there in the first couple of laps, set my fast time and then saved my tires for the race. Hopefully, we can duplicate what we did at Mid-Ohio."

Saini only needed three laps in his No. 28 Team MER/specmiata.com/Autobarn MX-5 to turn the second fastest qualifying time of 1:27.991 (80.353 mph). Saini is still looking for his first win of the season and is coming off a second place effort at Mid-Ohio.

Piloting the No. 88 DEX/Western Companies/Team MER MX-5, Cole turned the third fastest qualifying lap with a 1:28.212 (80.152 mph).

BSI Racing teammates Carlos Garcia, of Miami, Fla., Payton Wilson, Chantilly, Ga., and Todd Buras, of Melbourne, Fla., will start fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Buras, who now trails Daniels by three in the point standings, looks to win his second race of the season.

Round Five of the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook starts at 2:15 p.m. (PDT) this afternoon.

-scca pro racing-

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Series SCCA
Drivers Pratt Cole , Payton Wilson , Todd Buras , Carlos Garcia , Jim Daniels , Jason Saini