National at VIR: Round 3 Qualifying

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Young Brazilian Felipe Polehtto, third in points after the first two races, took the pole for round three at VIR by nearly a second. More photos below

ALTON, Va. (April 24) – At Virginia International Raceway, second-year man Felipe Polehtto ran the fewest number of laps in qualifying for round three of the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, but he put them to very good use. Of his seven laps – most of the other 21 drivers got in 10 – two were in the 2:05 bracket. The second fastest qualifier, rookie Ian Costa, mustered a best of 2:06.280. The next 10 drivers, through 12th-quick Sage Karem, were within 1 second of Costa.

Third on the grid for Saturday’s race – Sunday will see round four qualifying in the morning with the race late afternoon – is Connor DePhillippi, followed by Kyle Marcelli, Corey Lewis, Brett Smrz, Ashley Freiberg and Victor Pedrosa. Court Vernon and Isaac Lyons round out the top 10.

Qualifying was originally scheduled for 12:45 but was moved to 6:15 when the track ran behind schedule.

Friday, April 24, starting grid for Saturday race one (round 3 of 14) following Q1
BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda
Virginia International Raceway

1. Felipe Polehtto, 2:05.318
2. Ian Costa, 2:06.280
3. Conner De Phillippi, 2:06.587
4. Kyle Marcelli, 2:06.651
5. Corey Lewis, 2:06.653
6. Brett Smrz, 2:06.854
7. Ashley Freiberg, 2:06.859
8. Victor Pedrosa, 2:06.923
9. Court Vernon, 2:07.058
10. Isaac Lyons, 2:07.085
11. Jason Toft, 2:07.104
12. Sage Karam, 2:07.262
13. Stevan McAleer, 2:07.385
14. Julian Albarracin, 2:07.467
15. Matthew Mair, 2:07.678
16. Arrie Maree, 2:07.785
17. Sean Rayhall, 2:07.807
18. Robert LaRocca, 2:07.843
19. Dennis Trebing, 2:07.957
20. Michael Vincec, 2:08.416
21. Carlos Linares, 2:09.930
22. Michael Ramies, 2:11.026

Heading into the Esses, Polehtto in the red car runs up on Ian Costa in the blue #8. Costa was second-quickest in round three qualifying.

Points leader Connor DePhillippi (#58) and Brett Smrz (#36) head to the Esses side by side. DePhillippi will start third, Smrz sixth.

Sage Karam (#10) was only 1 second slower than outside frontrow man Costa, but it still leaves him in the sixth row. Meanwhile Kyle Marcelli (#50), second in points behind DePhillippi, will start fourth in Saturday’s race.

Corey Lewis, a Nazareth, Pa., neighbor of Karam (both families of which are Andretti family friends), qualified fifth.

Rick Roso, words and photos

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