Juncos Racing driver Kyle Kaiser was the fastest man in the desert, qualifying on pole position for Saturday’s Indy Lights race at Phoenix International Raceway and obliterating the old track record around the 1-mile oval.
Currently second in the championship, Kaiser secured pole position early on in the session with a two-lap average of 167.852 miles per hour, or 21.9167 seconds. The two-lap average was seven miles per hour and nearly a whole second faster than the old record. He’ll start on the front row of the grid next to Ed Jones of Carlin.
The second row features Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammates Santiago Urrutia and RC Enerson, with the Uruguayan rookie qualifying third ahead of his second-year teammate.
Championship leader Felix Serralles qualified fifth, next to the fastest first-time oval competitor in the field, Andre Negrao – who set the fastest single lap averaging 168.067 miles per hour. Canadians Zachary Claman DeMelo and Dalton Kellett qualified respectably well in seventh and eighth respectively, ahead of Dean Stoneman, and Neil Alberico who completed the top ten.
Fourth in the championship, Scott Hargrove qualified just outside the top ten, starting 11th next to Shelby Blackstock.
St. Petersburg winner Felix Rosenqvist was only 13th-fastest in his first competitive oval qualifier for Belardi Auto Racing, ahead of Juan Piedrahita in 14th, and SPM fourth driver Heamin Choi, making his first start of 2016, was 15th and slowest of the cars who set a time in qualifying.
Zach Veach failed to set a time after a crash late in the second practice session, and will start 16th and last tomorrow for Indy Lights’ first race at Phoenix International Raceway since 2005.
All fifteen drivers who qualified today shattered the old qualifying lap record, set by Claude Bourbonnais in 1995.