Dean will start Saturday’s round seven from third, logging a fast time of 1:36.573 (91.665 mph) in the No. 16 Projections Research/Sick Sideways MX-5. While the time was slower than his best time in practice, he was only 0.1-second off the pole speed.
“I was pretty optimistic leading into this race,” Dean said. “We were on some very old tires in practice, and made it work well there. Putting the new tires on before qualifying caused the nose of the car not to work as well. It may have hurt us a little bit, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been up on the grid, in qualifying. It will be nice starting somewhere that I can battle for the lead early.”
Patrick Gallagher set the fourth-quickest time of 1:36.755 (91.493 mph), in the No. 28 MAZDASPEED/Howard Concrete Pumping/CTL Engineering MX-5.
Gallagher, one of six rookies in the field, was joined in the top-five by another classmate, Sebastian Landy. Landy set a time of 1:36.759 (91.489 mph) behind the wheel of the No. 49 Excitations.com MX-5, which was good enough for fifth.
Following an overnight gearbox change, Kenton Koch set a new qualifying-lap record in the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge en route to securing the pole position for Saturday’s race. He completed the circuit in 1:38.875 (89.531 mph) in the No. 63 Skip Barber Racing School MX-5.
“The qualifying session went pretty well,” Koch said. “The track was starting to get greasy near the end. The first two laps I had were pretty good, but I felt like I made a few mistakes.
“I decided to pull into the pits to let my tires cool down a bit. Once they were cool, I went back out and did the exact same time as my first two laps. So, I pulled it in and shut the engine off.”
Drake Kemper stopped the clock at 1:39.413 (89.046 mph), which was enough to start second in class, in the No. 99 Royal Rugby MX-5. Robby Foley completed the top-three with a time of 1:39.544 (88.929 mph).