Vernay the quick study, takes Indy Lights pole
A week ago J.K. Vernay from France had never seen Infineon Raceway before. He took a Jim Russell Racing class for one day last week to learn the track and today he put what he learned to good use by winning the pole position for the Carneros 100 Indy Lights race. Vernay turned a quick lap of 1 minute, 23.5582 seconds in the No. 7 Lucas Oil/CJ/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car to earn the Sunoco Pole Award for the 40-lap Carneros 100.
Charlie Kimball, driving the No. 26 Levemir FlexPen entry for AFS Racing Andretti Autosport, jumped to second (1:23.5977) on his final lap.
James Hinchcliffe (1:23.6732) in the No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car will start third and Gustavo Yacaman recorded his best qualifying effort of the season (fourth at 1:23.7108) in the No. 10 Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing car.
J.K. VERNAY (No. 7 Lucas/CJ/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Sunoco Pole Award winner): "It was really tight again with James (Hinchcliffe). We are always fighting for half a tenth (of a second). That was a great battle. I have to thank the team. The car was great again. I am really happy. After the disappointing weekend at Mid-Ohio, I wanted to be quick here. It's fantastic. Now tomorrow we have to stay focused to the race. The goal is to win the championship and we have to finish well to do that."
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 26 Levemir FlexPen, qualified second): "It's a great result for the Levemir FlexPen car. The whole AFS Racing Andretti Autosport crew gave me a great car from the first practice. It's a lot of fun to drive here when the car is good. We've been fighting the sun all year. When it gets hot, we struggle a little bit more. We were hoping the marine layer would stay for a bit longer, but four hundredths, I'll take that. Come tomorrow, if I get a good start tomorrow, I'll have a shot at the win."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 2 TMR - Xtreme Coil Drilling, qualified third): "We tried something different in practice, but went back to what we had in the first practice for qualifying. It was like starting from scratch. The car was good. The tires fall off after two laps and we couldn't get two clean laps. If we had, we might have gotten the pole, but that's the nature of qualifying."
GUSTAVO YACAMAN (No. 10 Cape Motorsport with Wayne Taylor Racing, qualified fourth): "The car was great. We struggled in the practice sessions, but we've got a pretty strong car. We have pretty good race pace. The track isn't too bad. There's a spot where the NASCAR part transitions which isn't too good for us, but I think we'll be OK tomorrow."
DAN CLARKE (No. 40 Wasteco Deans Knight Special, qualified fifth): "We had some problems early on. We damaged the front wing and the front end of the car so the car wasn't good at all. We kept up with it and picked up a couple of tenths but it still wasn't good. We've been top five every week since we got a new engineer, but I'm still disappointed. We can't find that pole position.
||Adrian Campos Jr
||Juan Pablo Garcia