Martin Plowman nailed a 189.564mph lap of Chicagoland Speedway to go to the top of the qualifying timesheets and snatch his second pole position of the FIrestone Indy Lights season. He knocked aside Pippa Mann who held top spot for most of the session in her Sam Schmidt Motorsports car.
Plowman, who is suffering stomach flu, currently lies fourth in the championship standings, but only 21 points behind second-placed James Hinchcliffe who endured a very poor showing around the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval. Hinchcliffe and Team Moore teammate Adrian Campos Jr. will start 13th and 12th respectively in the 15-car field. Should his car not improve in relative pace come the race, it would seem to put paid to Hinchcliffe's already tenuous hopes of taking the Lights title. The Canadian currently lies 71 points off championship leader J.K. Vernay, with just two races - at Kentucky and Homestead - left to go following today's race.
Vernay, who has five wins and three pole positions to his name so far this season, put his Sam Schmidt machine fifth on the grid and will start alongside Plowman's AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport teammate Charlie Kimball. Ahead of them on row two will be Bryan Herta Autosport's Sebastian Saavedra and Philip Major. The Canadian makes it three Sam Schmidt cars in the top five.
Stefan Wilson, on his return to the second Bryan Herta car after a one-race absence, will start 10th, sandwiched by Brit compatriots Dillon Battistini (a series returnee for Team PBIR) and Walker Racing's Dan Clarke.
1. (27) Martin Plowman, 189.503
2. (11) Pippa Mann, 189.444
3. (29) Sebastian Saavedra, 188.977
4. (49) Philip Major, 188.774
5. (7) J.K. Vernay, 188.577
6. (26) Charlie Kimball, 188.486
7. (10) Gustavo Yacaman, 188.124
8. (32) Brandon Wagner, 188.016
9. (35) Dillon Battistini, 187.980
10. (28) Stefan Wilson, 187.541
11. (40) Dan Clarke, 187.463
12. (22) Adrian Campos Jr., 187.381
13. (2) James Hinchcliffe, 187.104
14. (24) Arie Luyendyk Jr., 185.830
15. (18) Rodrigo Barbosa, 183.827