Road America: Rocketsports qualifying report

Rocketsports sweeps front row in Trans-Am qualifying at Road America. ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- Rocketsports Racing swept the front row in qualifying for Round 8 of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup at Road America today for...

Rocketsports sweeps front row in Trans-Am qualifying at Road America.

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- Rocketsports Racing swept the front row in qualifying for Round 8 of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup at Road America today for tomorrow's race. Johnny Miller, driver of the No. 64 Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR, claimed his second pole this season with a time of 2:08:143 on the 4.048 mile, 14-turn course. Teammate and two-time Trans-Am champion Scott Pruett, driving the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR, will start beside him on the front row.

Miller's effort earned him his fourth career Trans-Am pole position and his second pole at Road America, scoring his first in 2000. Starting on the pole earlier this year at Lime Rock, Miller went on to claim the victory in the rain-soaked event. Pruett started on the pole here in his three previous Trans-Am starts, taking the win in 1988 and finishing second in 1994.

"We struggled a bit early in the weekend, but we made a couple of calculated changes yesterday that really pushed us over and basically gave us a new car," explained Miller, who ranks second in the championship point standings. "We gained in leaps and bounds. We ran out of time yesterday, but we got the job done today in qualifying.

"We opted to run the medium compound tire supplied by BFGoodrich Tires," continued Miller, who finished on the Road America podium in 2002 and 2001. "We looked at our tire wear and we think we're in good shape. It's a gamble; it's a borderline thing. But I need to win this race. I can't afford to slow down, so I can't afford to take chances.

"We've got 150 Eaton Cutler-Hammer customers here for the race, so I'm glad to be starting up front for them. We're just hoping for a good day tomorrow," concluded Miller.

Pruett, who leads in the championship point standings, will look for his sixth win in eight starts this season. "We opted to run the hard (tire) compound on the left rear tire. It takes a little away from the performance of the car in qualifying, but we're looking for more margin in the race on a long run," said Pruett, who won the Trans-Am Series Drivers' Championship in 1987 and 1994.

"We decided to play it conservatively in our tire choice," revealed Pruett. "We can run a hard pace from start to finish. We're in more of a position to be conservative. We'll make it up in the race and see how it plays out tomorrow."

Tomy Drissi, piloting the No. 5 "Stuck on You, the Movie" Jaguar XKR out of the Rocketsports stable, will start seventh. Wisconsin native Paul Menard, behind the wheel of the XKR normally driven by three-time Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi, will start 10th on the grid in the No. 3 Johns Manville/Menards Jaguar XKR.

-rsr-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Tomy Drissi , Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller , Paul Menard
Teams HART