Hinchcliffe grabs pole for Edmonton 100

By Dave Lewandowski

EDMONTON, Alberta – James Hinchcliffe recorded the fewest laps of anyone in Sunoco Pole qualifying for the Edmonton 100. No. 18 of 19 counted the most.

Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car, earned the pole for the 50-lap Edmonton 100 with a best lap of 1 minute, 6.2159 seconds on the 1.973-mile, 14-turn City Centre Airport circuit. It’s the fourth time this season that Hinchcliffe will start on the pole and fifth time on the front row.

J.K. Vernay bolted to the front of the field with 24 minutes left in the hour-long session, posting a lap of 1:06.2681 in the No. 7 Lucas Oil/CJ/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car. That held up until Hinchcliffe’s run with four minutes left.

It was almost a mirror image of the scenario that unfolded a week earlier on the streets of Exhibition Place in Toronto. Vernay earned the Sunoco Pole Award, displacing Hinchcliffe in the final minute of the session.

“It never hurts to start up front, but it was a little bit too close there,” said Hinchcliffe, who has transferred one of his previous road/street course pole starts into victory. “As I said to my engineer Lee Dykstra, it’s a little bit of payback for Toronto, where we sort of sat up at the top and then J.K. pulled it out on us at the end. But credit to him, he’s been super quick all weekend. He’s such a tough competitor.

“A huge thanks to Team Moore. This is sort of (team owner) Tom Wood’s hometown here so to get a pole at the home race is great.”

Martin Plowman (1:06.2707) in the No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers/KEP Printing car for AFS Racing Andretti Autosport will join teammate Charlie Kimball (1:06.3802), driving the No. 26 Levemir FlexPen entry, on Row 2.

“That was a really tough qualifying session,” said Plowman, who matched his season best on a road/street course. “The times were extremely close. At one point, I was two-thousandths from pole. I put in another quick lap, but we ran out of time. The top three were separated by less than half a tenth. When it’s that close, it’s just about who gets it that day. I think I got the best out of the car today. I know we have a really strong race car, so it’s going to be a great race tomorrow.”

The top eight are separated by less than a second.

Dan Clarke, who started third and finished second last week in Toronto, will be on Row 3 in the No. 40 Wasteco Deans Knight Special for Walker Racing (1:06.7233). Gustavo Yacaman, who posted a season-high third-place finish at Toronto, will start sixth (1:06.7522) in the No. 10 Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing car.

Bryan Herta Autosport teammates Stefan Wilson and Sebastian Saavedra will start from Row 4.

source http://www.indycar.com

blog comments powered by Disqus