The SunTrust Dallara-Chevy of Wayne Taylor Racing will start Saturday night's Canadian Tire 200 at Watkins Glen from the pole for the sixth race in a row. Ricky Taylor, the recently turned 22-year-old co-driver to veteran Italian Max Angelelli, earned his sixth consecutive and eighth career Rolex Series pole position with a lap of 1:05.962 (133.713mph) around the 2.45-mile, 11-turn NASCAR road course. It was fastest among 33 car-and-driver combinations that will take the green flag for Saturday night's two-hour event.
“It was kind of drizzling earlier and I was saying to the guys that I wouldn't be too upset if it just started pouring rain right now and we took our qualifying based on points and we started second,” said Taylor, who with Angelelli could manage no better than the ninth-fastest laps in each of today's two morning practice sessions. “I knew the car would be improved after Max drove it in practice this morning and made some changes. The only different variable in qualifying was the NASCAR rubber. That qualifying was like 10 crashes every lap. It was pretty wild and I just can't say enough about our Chevy power and our SunTrust team. Awesome.”
Taylor can tie Jon Fogarty's series qualifying record of seven consecutive poles next week at the Montreal 200 on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Fogarty qualified on the pole for seven races in a row and nine altogether during his 2007 Rolex Series championship season.
Memo Rojas grabbed the outside-front-row starting spot in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Riley-BMW today while Fogarty qualified third in the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Riley-Chevy.
“I didn't think we had it today because all five poles that Ricky's had to this point, he'd told me at some point in the weekend, ‘Don't worry, Dad, the car's good,'” said team owner Wayne Taylor, who co-drove with Angelelli to a pair of victories in late-summer sprint races at Watkins Glen en route to the Rolex Series championship for SunTrust Racing in 2005. “Today, when I asked him, all he could say was, ‘I don't know, Dad. I'm not sure.' I knew the guys would put a good setup on the car and we knew that Ricky would haul it around, and he did. Yet again, the SunTrust team rose to the top. The car was not so good when we rolled it off the truck. Max did a lot of work to make sure the setup was right, and gave it to Ricky and he did what he had to do.”
Rounding out the top five on the grid for Saturday night's race were: Spirit of Daytona Racing (No. 90 Coyote-Chevy) with Paul Edwards and Antonio Garcia (1:06.657 at 132.319mph) and Action Express Racing (No. 5 Riley-Porsche) with David Donohue and Darren Law (1:06.744 at 132.147mph) The race, which gets underway at 6 p.m. ET, airs live on SPEED.