[media-credit name=”IndyCar.com” align=”alignright” width=”333″][/media-credit]In his second ever oval track start, Tristan Vautier scored his first ever oval track pole. It marked the 51st pole for Sam Schdmit Motorsports (SSM). Vautier won the pole with a two-lap average speed of 146.884 mph.
Vautier started his first ever Indy Lights race from the pole at St. Petersburg earlier this year.
“It feels so good to be on pole for this track because it’s a tough track,” Vautier says. “Our car was awesome this morning. I felt a lot of pressure going into qualifying because I knew we could do it, and I just had to do the job. But there are 100 laps, pole is one point and the race is worth 50 points, so we have a lot of work ahead of us still.”
Currently, Vautier sits second in the series standings to teammate Esteban Guerrieri following five races.
If the 2011 Star Mazda Champion is able to drive his No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/SSM with Curb Agajanian car to a win tonight, it’ll mark the 50th Indy Lights win for SSM.
Victor Carbone qualified second with a speed of 146.429 mph, followed by Sebastian Saavedra and Carlos Munoz.
There was a 30-minute practice immediately following qualifying, which saw Munoz post the top speed at 140.623 mph. Vautier was second, 0.1857 seconds behind.
The 100-lap race is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. (ET), with real-time Timing & Scoring and the IMS Radio Network broadcast on www.indycar.com.