Kendall Leads Rocketsports Jaguar Sweep of Denver Trans-Am Qualifying DENVER (Aug. 13, 2004) -- Tommy Kendall led a Rocketsports Racing Jaguar sweep of the top-three qualifying positions Friday for Saturday's Cytomax Sport Drink 100 Trans-Am ...
Kendall Leads Rocketsports Jaguar Sweep of Denver Trans-Am Qualifying
DENVER (Aug. 13, 2004) -- Tommy Kendall led a Rocketsports Racing Jaguar sweep of the top-three qualifying positions Friday for Saturday's Cytomax Sport Drink 100 Trans-Am Series race, part of the Centrix Grand Prix of Denver weekend. Kendall (No. 11 Jaguar R Performance XKR) earned his fifth pole this season with a record lap time of 1:13.072 minutes (81.072 miles per hour). Currently second in the championship, Kendall earns one bonus point for the pole.
Kendall's teammates Tomy Drissi (No. 5 Taxi -- The Movie Jaguar XKR) and Paul Gentilozzi (No. 3 Jaguar R Performance XKR) timed second and third, while Johnny Miller (No. 64 Eaton Chevrolet Corvette) and Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Preformed Line Products Chevrolet Corvette) completed the top five.
"Things are coming together at the right time for us," said Kendall, who is coming off his first win in nearly a decade, last weekend at Road America. "After last weekend, you look at the points and you have four guys that are within 10 points of each other. We've accidentally created what the NASCAR guys have done with their championship. It's a three-race shootout and I like our chances.
"The car has been quick and now we're stringing together some consistency," added Kendall, who is driving the only car in the field equipped with Jaguar's production-based, overhead-cam, fuel-injected AJ-V8 engine. "I'm excited for the AJ-V8. This is a good track for us because it doesn't have the long straightaways. Here, we also have a relatively small edge with the altitude. Fuel injection corrects for changes in air density, whereas with a carburetor you have to do it manually with jetting. We're learning how to get the most out of the car."
Drissi timed second and immediately hit the turn-one tire wall 11 minutes into the session.
"I had a good flyer, but I just didn't stop and went into the tires," said Drissi. "I was rushing to get out of the tires, but my crew told me I was P2, so I thought I might take my time. The car definitely has more in it. The lap was very comfortable.
"I may have to change one of my front tires," added Drissi. "We're allowed to change one tire without losing position. I guess we'll have to see."
Gentilozzi hinted he might change tires for tomorrow's race and thus will start last on the grid.
"The car was just miserable to drive," said Gentilozzi, "but that's my fault and we'll fix it. I just haven't been focused on the setup. I've been preoccupied. My teammates did really well and I'm lagging behind.
"I might change tires," added Gentilozzi. "I flat-spotted the tires pretty badly. We're still fighting problems with the brake bias. We'll look at the weather tomorrow and I'll just have to make a judgment. Passing is more difficult there, but the track isn't abrasive on tires. I guess it'll be a surprise."
The session was red flagged 18 minutes into the scheduled 30-minute session when Joey Scarallo hit the turn-nine tire wall. The event was subsequently checkered early due to the clean up. Scarallo was unharmed in the crash.
The Cytomax Sport Drink 100 is scheduled for Friday and Saturday Aug. 13-14 at the 1.647-mile temporary street course around the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver. The Trans-Am race is scheduled to start at 4:15 p.m. MDT on Saturday. The Trans-Am Series is part of a full weekend of racing, which also includes the featured Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, as well as the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama, Formula BMW USA and Colorado Vintage Racing.
The race will be broadcast LIVE on HDNet, with tape-delayed highlights coverage on Spike TV's popular "Dangerous Curves" time slot, Sunday, Aug. 22 at 10 a.m. (EDT, PDT).
The Motorock Trans-Am Series features closed-fendered, production-based, V-8-powered sports cars, competing on permanent road courses, and temporary street and airport circuits throughout North America. The Trans-Am Series is America's oldest continuously running road racing series and celebrates its 39th year of competition in 2004.