Cleveland: Qualifying summary

Tommy Kendall Climbs Cleveland Pole CLEVELAND (July 1, 2004) -- Tommy Kendall won the pole Thursday for Friday's Trans-Am on the Tarmac race at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport. Driving the venerable No. 11 Jaguar R Performance XKR, Kendall...

Tommy Kendall Climbs Cleveland Pole

CLEVELAND (July 1, 2004) -- Tommy Kendall won the pole Thursday for Friday's Trans-Am on the Tarmac race at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport. Driving the venerable No. 11 Jaguar R Performance XKR, Kendall turned in a 1:14.466-minute lap (101.813 miles per hour) to earn his 41st career and a record third Cleveland pole.

Randy Ruhlman qualified on the outside pole in the No. 49 Preformed Line Products Chevrolet Corvette, while Tomy Drissi completed the top three in the No. 5 Dodgeball--The Movie Jaguar XKR. Jorge Diaz, Jr. (No. 8 Puerto Rico Grand Prix Jaguar XKR) and local driver Bob Ruman (No. 23 McNichols/Cenweld Chevrolet Corvette) completed the top five.

Kendall won the pole using Jaguar's new production-based, overhead-cam, fuel-injected engine, the only one of its type in the field. It was the third pole for the engine and the first this season in dry conditions. Kendall won the pole in the season opener at Long Beach in rainy conditions.

"One of my goals was to be outright fastest car," said Kendall. "We found out last week that we had too much rear break bias. We solved that problem this week. I said on the first lap 'We've got a hot rod here.' It was like a whole different car. I'm very happy to get the heads up pole for Jaguar's AJ-V8."

Ruhlman's first top-three qualifying effort is an extension of consistent efforts put in this season by Derhaag Motorsports team.

"After our third-place finish at Sonoma Sunday evening, the crew guys had a great trip back, even though they drove 52 hours straight to be here yesterday," said Ruhlman. "Our confidence in the car is growing every week, and that grows on itself. The car does well, I feel good and confident, the crew then feels great, and it just expands on itself."

Drissi scored his third consecutive top-three qualifying effort this season.

"I conserved my tires and when I was going for the fast lap Paul (Gentilozzi) hit some debris and hit the wall in front of me," said Drissi. "I never got to make that run, but I'm happy with third and I know I have a lot of tires left."

Paul Gentilozzi, who ran in the top three during much of the 30-minute session, spun in debris and hit the tire wall in turn eight. He was transported to the Champ Car Medical Center, where he was checked and released.

"I did a Bruno (Junqueira)," referring to an off by the Brazilian driver in this morning's Champ Car World Series practice. "I hit in the exact same spot except I knocked the wall down. The car ahead of me cut the corner, scattering dirt all over the track. I got into it and knew I was on my way to a wreck."

Tomorrow's race is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport. The Trans-Am Series is part of a full weekend of racing, featuring the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, and also includes the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama and Formula BMW USA.

-ta

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Tomy Drissi , Paul Gentilozzi , Randy Ruhlman , Bob Ruman , Tommy Kendall , Jorge Diaz