Road Atlanta: Qualifying report

Leitzinger on pole for Trans-Am 100 Presented by The Crank -- You'Ve Never Seen A Ratchet Like This! at Road Atlanta. BRASELTON, Ga. (October 10, 2002) -- Butch Leitzinger claimed his series-high fifth pole position of the Trans-Am Series...

Leitzinger on pole for Trans-Am 100 Presented by The Crank -- You'Ve Never Seen A Ratchet Like This! at Road Atlanta.

BRASELTON, Ga. (October 10, 2002) -- Butch Leitzinger claimed his series-high fifth pole position of the Trans-Am Series season Friday, while Boris Said took a small step closer to the BFGoodrich Tires Cup during qualifying for the Trans-Am 100 Presented by The Crank -- You've Never Seen a Ratchet Like This! at Road Atlanta.

Leitzinger (#88 Tommy Bahama/Tom Gloy Chevrolet Corvette) recorded a lap of 110.974 miles per hour (1 minute, 22.398 seconds) on the 2.54-mile, 12-turn Road Atlanta layout to earn two championship points and the Jaguar Pole Award. It is his first pole since mid-July at Washington, D.C., but his series-leading fifth overall.

Leitzinger will lead 22 Trans-Am Series rivals to the green flag at 3 p.m. ET Friday for the 11th of 12 rounds in the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup championship.

"It's nice to get back on the sharp end of the field -- it's been awhile," said Leitzinger, who also owns poles at Mosport, Mid-Ohio and Cleveland. "I'm very happy with the car. We made a few small changes from practice, and we went in the right direction. My engineer, Buddy Fey, deserves the credit for that.

"I think you're going to see a very entertaining race tomorrow," added Leitzinger, who has already clinched the 2002 AmeriSuites Rookie of the Year Award and stands third in the championship with 234 points. "Road Atlanta is a track where there are several opportunities to pass, and I think you'll see a lot of swapping back and forth among the lead group of cars."

Said, meanwhile, put his car alongside Leitzinger's on the front row, collecting a championship point for his outside pole position at 110.804 mph (1:22.524) and extending his lead over three-time and defending Trans-Am Series champion Paul Gentilozzi to 58 points (296-238), with a maximum of 66 points available in the season's two remaining races. Said clinches the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup championship with a finish of 18th or better Friday afternoon.

Gentilozzi (#3 Johnson Controls/Microchip/Matrix One/Futaba Jaguar XKR) qualified fourth Friday at 110.424 mph (1:22.808).

"I was careful [last week} at Miami," explained Said (#33 Applied Computer Solutions Panoz Esperante), who will make his 11th top-three start in as many events this season. "Tomorrow, I'm just going to go out and race.

"It's a lot of fun when the top five or six cars are bunched so closely together," Said added. "I can't wait to get going. It ought to be a great race."

Johnny Miller (#64 Automation Direct/Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR) qualified third at 110.583 mph, equaling a season-best established at Mosport. It is his fifth top-five start of the Trans-Am season.

Following Gentilozzi on the grid, and rounding out the top five starters, is Stu Hayner (#02 Trenton Forging Chevrolet Corvette), who starts fifth after a lap of 110.029 mph (1:23.105). Like Miller, Hayner will be making his fifth top-five start of the season, including a pole position at Lime Rock.

The Trans-Am 100 Presented by The Crank -- You've Never Seen a Ratchet Like This! will air via tape delay on SPEED Channel on Friday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. ET.

-scca pro racing-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Boris Said , Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller , Tom Gloy , Stu Hayner