Harrington Earns Pole, Sets New Track Record In Sports Class of Motorola Cup at Road Atlanta BRASELTON, Ga., April 16 - The team of Scott Harrington and Howie Liebengood set a new track record and earned the pole...
Harrington Earns Pole, Sets New Track Record In Sports Class of Motorola Cup at Road Atlanta
BRASELTON, Ga., April 16 - The team of Scott Harrington and Howie Liebengood set a new track record and earned the pole position in the Sports class of the Motorola Cup series Friday afternoon at Road Atlanta. The three-hour race is scheduled to get the green flag at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Harrington, of Indianapolis, is most famous as a Pep Boys Indy Racing League (IRL) driver and he is entered in next month's Indianapolis 500 in a Dallara fielded by Harrington Motorsports, a team he owns along with his father, Gene, a Louisville, Ky. businessman and racer.
Harrington was behind the wheel of Liebengood's '97 BWM 328 No. 14 on Friday in the 15-minute qualifying session. His fastest lap and the new record was 1:41.930 or 89.199 mph. That was almost a second and a half (0.757 mph) faster than the next-fastest competitor in that division, the team of Andy Lally and Mike Johnson in a '99 BMW Z3 Coupe. Harrington will start 24th overall in Saturday's race in the Randy Owens-painted car, which is sponsored by Fairchild Fasteners, Pennzoil and the National Campaign to Stop Violence. Liebengood, of Vienna, Va., is a national spokesperson for the latter.
Taking the fastest qualifier-honors and setting a new track record in the process was quite an accomplishment for the team, as the car developed a leak in the heater core in practice. Still, they were third in class in the first practice session and second in the second practice session. The team of Lally and Johnson were first in class in both of the practice periods. (In an example of how close the racing world is, Harrington served as a driving coach on the Highcroft Racing U.S. Formula 2000 team last year, and Lally drives one of that team's Bowmans in that series.)
"The car was really good in qualifying," Harrington said. "I was surprised how fast we were. We only did two timed laps because of the heater core problem, but hopefully we'll have that solved for the race. Our team is great, and they're hard at work on it."
Harrington and Liebengood's BWM is prepared by Larry Nash of LP Racing, who preps Eliseo Salazar's car for Nienhouse/LP Racing in the IRL.
The Motorola Cup is also known as the North American Street Stock Championship, and Saturday's race attracted 55 entries. The series features high-performance street cars with liberal modifications, all racing on Hoosier tires. All are fueled by ethanol-based Sunoco Ultra 94 gasoline. The cars race in four classes - Grand Sports, Sports, Touring and Compact.