News & Media

GRAND-AM qualifying kicks off Super Weekend

July 25, 2013, Holly Cain,

Driver who previously portrayed Junior earns GRAND-AM pole in car owned by MLB pitcher CJ Wilson

SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- NASCAR driver Chad McCumbee won the pole for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Street Tuner (ST) class Thursday afternoon kicking off racing activities for Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard.

It was a fitting showing for McCumbee -- who played Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the ESPN television movie “3: The Dale Earnhardt Story” -- because it comes during a companion race weekend between Grand-Am and NASCAR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And it comes on the same day his team owner, CJ Wilson, will be the starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

“I’m humbled to put Mazda on the front row,’’ said McCumbee, who will start 21st overall in the field. “Hopefully we can finish one off. Our teammates have gotten a couple wins.”

McCumbee, who is still looking for his first win of the season, also won the pole at the Austin, Texas Circuit of the Americas in March in his No. 3 Mazda MX-5.

Racing on the historic Indianapolis track was something the 28-year old had dreamed of, however in his mind, he would have been turning left in a stock car not driving the other direction through the track’s 2.543-mile infield course.

“As a racer, Indianapolis and Daytona, that’s it,’’ McCumbee said. “As a stock car racer I thought I’d be going counterclockwise around this place. But to take the green flag at this place is a true blessing. I always thought I’d be going the other way, but it’s still Indy.

“Just the aura, the town and what it means to the sport. If you’re a true lover of the sport, you look at Indy as racing. This is motorsports.’’

Jade Buford, of Houston, will start his GS-Class No.  55 Aston Martin on the pole for the race, which will begin at 2 p.m. Friday following NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series opening practices.

Taylor, Said set track records with DP, GT poles

Jordan Taylor captured his third consecutive TOTAL Pole Award pole in Thursday’s qualifying for the Brickyard Grand Prix (Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET). Taylor ran his track-record lap of 1:22.251 (110.909 mph) to unseat Formula One veteran Rubens Barrichello, making his DP debut for Doran Racing.

The session was red-flagged when John Pew went off course and was stuck in a gravel trap in Turn 8. Qualifying resumed with seven minutes remaining. Memo Rojas took second at the checkered flag with a lap of 1:22.375 (110.742 mph) in the No. 01 Telcel/Telmex BMW/Riley.

Boris Said captured his first pole of the season in GT qualifying, breaking the track record with a lap of 1:28.374 (103.225 mph) in the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette. Robin Liddell was second, looking to give Stevenson Motorsports its fourth pole of the season in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro, 1:28.917.

In GX, Tom Long was quickest in the No. 70 Mazdaspeed/SpeedSource Mazda 6, 1:33.156 (97.926 mph).