Kendall Captures 41ST Career Trans-Am Series Pole CLEVELAND (July 1, 2004) -- Four-time Motorock Trans-Am Series Champion Tommy Kendall captured his 41st career pole in qualifying Thursday for Trans-Am on the Tarmac at Cleveland. Kendall powered...
Kendall Captures 41ST Career Trans-Am Series Pole
CLEVELAND (July 1, 2004) -- Four-time Motorock Trans-Am Series Champion Tommy Kendall captured his 41st career pole in qualifying Thursday for Trans-Am on the Tarmac at Cleveland. Kendall powered the Rocketsports-developed Jaguar AJ-V8 engine to a fast time of 1:14.466 (101.813 miles per hour) giving the four-valve fuel-injected engine its third Series pole in five starts.
The driver of the No. 11 Jaguar R Performance XKR continued his dominance of the Cleveland airport circuit here. In 1990, Kendall started from the pole and won his first of three races here, a circuit record. Rocketsports Racing teammate, Tomy Drissi, with new sponsor, Dodgeball--The Movie, was third fastest with a time of 1:15.030 (101.048 mph), continuing his streak of top-three starts. Drissi's didn't have a chance to run a fast lap after Rocketsports owner Paul Gentilozzi crashed in turn eight, ending the qualifying session.
Kendall was pleased to win the pole for Jaguar and the AJ-V8 engine, but gave most of the credit to his crew. "I have to give credit to the crew. They made a discovery on the brakes and it transformed the car into a rocket. It didn't make sense why we weren't faster in Sonoma, but now we know why," remarked Kendall. "To have a pole in the dry and over some good two-valve cars, I am definitely happy."
Drissi and his No. 5 crew worked out the kinks from the morning practice to enhance his lap times for qualifying. Drissi improved his best starting position here. Drissi's best prior start at the Cleveland was sixth last year. "I conserved my tires and, when I was going for the fast lap, Paul hit some debris and then hit the wall in front of me," recalls Drissi. "It was a hard hit. 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, driver of the No. 3 Jaguar XKR, set the seventh fastest time in qualifying of 1:16.160 (99.548 mph) before crashing in turn eight. "The car was fast. I was out on a qualifying run and the car ahead of me clipped the grass and threw it onto the track," reflected Gentilozzi. "As soon as I hit the grass I knew I was in for a good hit. Turn eight has been very tricky with the new pavement."