INDIANAPOLIS – Former Stevenson Motorsports Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teammates Matt Bell and John Edwards went head-to-head at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday afternoon for the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge TOTAL Pole Award.
By the end of the 15-minute qualifying session, it was Bell who bested his former co-driver by a mere .017 of a second in the No. 9 Stevenson Automotive Group Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R, picking up his first pole of the season in the process with a lap of one minute, 34.821 seconds / 92.600 mph.
“A couple of years ago we used to get the pole almost every weekend, so a slump like that is frustrating,” Bell said. “It’s good to come out of that, but it wasn’t my doing as much as Team Chevy building this awesome new Z/28.R.”
Edwards qualified second in the points-leading No. 46 Trim-Tex/Cirroco Ozzimo BMW M3 he shares with co-driver Trent Hindman at 1:34.838 (92.583 mph). Hindman leads the Grand Sport (GS)-class driver standings after Edwards did not meet the minimum drive-time required to score points at Kansas Speedway.
Ian James qualified third in the No. 158 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302R with a lap of 1:34.926. James’ co-driver, Billy Johnson, was fastest in the second practice session of the day.
Two weeks ago at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Adam Isman and co-driver Remo Ruscitti earned their first Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race victories. Isman kept that momentum going Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, earning his first career Continental Tire Challenge TOTAL Pole Award in the Street Tuner (ST) class for the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge.
Isman drove the No. 04 BBA Accounting/DE Labs Porsche Cayman to a lap of 1:39.318 (88.407 mph) around Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s newly reconfigured 14-turn, 2.435-mile circuit, more than half a second quicker than the No. 50 REDCOM Laps/Wounded Warriors Porsche Cayman of Cody Ellsworth, 1:39.961 (87.838 mph). Ellsworth will co-drive the No. 50 Porsche with Corey Lewis, who finished in the top two in each of Thursday’s two practice sessions.
“We had a couple of tough results right before [Canadian Tire Motorsport Park] and we missed the pole by just a fraction of a second at Kansas and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park,” said Isman. “This is my first time here. It’s an incredible facility; you can feel all of the history.”
Michael Valiante qualified third in the No. 93 Honda Racing HPD Honda Civic Si he shares with co-driver Chad Gilsinger at 1:40.080 (87.734 mph).