TOOELE, Utah (Sept. 14, 2007) – Andrew Caddell, of Graham, Wash., captured his second-career SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup pole today for Saturday’s season finale at Miller Motorsports Park, part of the Sunchaser 1000 weekend. Teammate and series Champion Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, will start second.
Driving the No. 30 Team MER/AimSport/Pinnacle Mazda MX-5, Caddell clocked the session’s fastest time of 2:23.601 (79.319 mph) around the 23-turn, 4.486-mile circuit to win the pole. Caddell also earned the pole at the series’ fifth race at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport in June.
“It’s very important to be on pole at this track,” said Caddell, who is battling with Ara Malkhassian for second in the Championship. “It’s a big track and there’s lots of passing zones. For me to be on pole and Ara [Malkhassain] to be starting 13th, that gives us a pretty good gap. I think we have to finish about two positions or so behind him to keep second.
“We haven’t had a very good handling car all weekend, the car’s been pushing real bad. This session it seemed way worse and I think everyone else was too. There were a lot of rocks out there, a lot of dust, and there was some oil down from the session before. There was just no grip at all.
“I’m going to see if I can work together with Jason [Saini] and maybe in the last three or four laps if we have enough of a gap, have a good fight.”
Saini, who clinched the series Championship and a ride in the 2008 SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship with Mazda, was second fastest in the session with a time of 3:23.852 (79.222 mph).
Bob Michaelian, of Seal Beach, Calif., had his best qualifying effort of the year and will start third in his No. 19 Hooverspeed/Shopzilla.com Mazda MX-5 after turning a lap of 3:25.356 (78.642 mph). Teammate Matt Cross, of Folsom, Calif., will start fourth in his No. 80 Hooverspeed/MobiTV Mazda MX-5 with a time of 3:25.415 (78.619 mph).
Mark Jenkins, of McKinney, Texas, equaled his career-best qualifying effort of fifth in his No. 22 Traxxas.com Mazda MX-5.
Actor-turned-racer Frankie Muniz, Simona DeSilvestro, Mark Jenkins, Andrew Carbonell and Jesse Combs completed the top 10.
Actors Patrick Dempsey and Ian Ziering qualified 12th and 28th, respectively.
Saturday’s season-ending Round Eight race will start at 9:45 a.m. (MDT). To follow all the action via live timing and scoring and lap notes, visit www.mx-5cup.com.