J.R. Hildebrand wins Indy Lights pole
Qualifying Saturday for the Carneros 100 Firestone Indy Lights event on the 2.303-mile Infineon Raceway, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, time and speed in parentheses:
1. (26) J.R. Hildebrand, 1:23.0361 (99.846)
2. (27) Sebastian Saavedra, 1:23.4642 (99.334)
3. (20) Ana Beatriz, 1:23.4824 (99.312)
4. (29) Felipe Guimaraes, 1:23.5818 (99.194)
5. (7) James Hinchcliffe, 1:23.6345 (99.131)
6. (21) James Davison, 1:23.7261 (99.023)
7. (37) Richard Philippe, 1:23.8510 (98.875)
8. (5) Mario Romancini, 1:23.8780 (98.844)
9. (35) Charlie Kimball, 1:23.9205 (98.794)
10. (15) Martin Plowman, 1:24.0296 (98.665)
11. (2) Andrew Prendeville, 1:24.0460 (98.646)
12. (28) Daniel Herrington, 1:24.0774 (98.609)
13. (11) Wade Cunningham, 1:24.1431 (98.532)
14. (24) Mike Potekhen, 1:24.2623 (98.393)
15. (16) Pippa Mann, 1:24.4394 (98.186)
16. (44) Gustavo Yacaman, 1:24.4789 (98.140)
17. (8) Juan Pablo Garcia, 1:24.8757 (97.682)
18. (9) X - Ali Jackson, 1:25.0625 (97.467)
19. (55) Y - Rodrigo Barbosa, no time (no speed)
X - Lost fastest lap for causing full-course yellow;
Y- Disqualified for causing two full-course yellows.
J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 26 ARPRO, Carneros 100 polesitter): "I'm excited about this one. It was a big lap to get that time. It's great to come back to Northern California and getting off to a great start on my home track. A good finish tomorrow may go a long way to getting the championship. I'm really excited that Sebastian (Saavedra) was able to secure second spot. It gives AFS/AGR the front row." (How many laps around here do you have?) "Too many. We run a different layout than what I'm used to, but it's still the same track. I'm really happy to win the pole here."
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, qualified second): "I'm very happy. The team did a great job getting the car repaired after the crash this morning. It's also our (team's) first official front row starting (sweep). I'm very happy for J.R. It's great to have him by my side. Now it's about teamwork for tomorrow's race. We have a very competitive car. We showed that and now it's time to bring it home."
ANA BEATRIZ (No. 20 Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, qualified third): "This is a great result for the Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt team. With that said, to be just two hundredths off of second position is a little frustrating. Still, this is a really great result for the entire team. We have a great race car, and I'm looking forward to a competitive race."
FELIPE GUIMARAES: (No. 29 Bryan Herta Autosport, qualified fourth): "This has been my best qualifying effort yet in Firestone Indy Lights. Bryan Herta Autosport prepared a good car for me. It was difficult to post a faster time with all the traffic but I'm quite happy with the effort. It will be very difficult to overtake on this track but I'm going to try to put a lot of pressure on those in front and wait for them to make a mistake. We'll try to improve the car a bit more in morning practice but right now I'm pretty happy."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 7 Hinchtown.com/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, qualified fifth): "I am a little bit disappointed. We certainly felt like we had a car capable of the first two rows and looking back on it, I think my engineer and I got a little carried away on the setup and made a change in the wrong direction. The yellow flags were tough and the traffic was tough today, but we think we'll have a strong car for the race."