Dismore takes pole in Texas

Mark Dismore took an impressive pole position on Thursday night for this weekend's Indy Racing League race at the Texas Motor Speedway with a lap at 215.508 mph in his Dallara-Oldsmobile Aurora

Dismore takes pole in Texas

"We had an uneventful day," said Dismore. "We only did three hot laps in practice. The engine was smoking in practice and we made an engine change during the time it rained. We were guessing and we were the guys who guessed best."

The IRL round comes five weeks after the Texas CART race around the 1.5-mile oval was cancelled. Drivers from the rival series complained of dizzy spells and tunnel vision during qualifying due to the excessive g-forces. Kenny Brack's Champ Car pole speed was 233.447mph, almost 20mph more than Dismore's pole lap.

"I think the speeds we are running here is all we need to run," Dismore said. "You could bump it up 5 miles an hour, but that would be tops. The amount of speed we have is totally realistic for the type of cars we are running. You don't have to go 230mph to put on a good show and I think we put on a good show here."

Dismore was closely followed by team mate and last year's winner in Texas Scott Sharp, who took second spot to make it an all Kelley Racing front row.

"We had a good day with the car," Sharp said. "We didn't have it quite like we wanted to this morning. We decided to make a bunch of changes with the car. With the rain washing out our final practice session, it was a bit of a gamble."

This weekend's race has a lot to live up to after 31 lead changes at this event last year. Sharp won by a margin of just 0.059s ahead of Robby McGehee in an extremely close-fought contest.

"I think we can have a race like last year," Sharp said. "This is probably one of the biggest races on our schedule. The draft plays such a role here. We started 24th last year and after a few laps, we were in the top five. I think guys are close enough that when you get side-by-side, it sucks people up there.

"We were on the edge the entire time. I couldn't believe we weren't thinning out in the race. What is exciting is everybody in this field has a chance to do well because of the draft."

Eddie Cheever finished third fastest with a lap at 214.926mph and the former Formula 1 ace was the highest qualified driver using an Infiniti engine.

"We're continuing where we left off in Atlanta," said Cheever. "I think if we understood the electronics a little better, like the Kelley guys did, we would have been even quicker. But I'm very happy with our qualifying effort. It was a good run. We spent a lot of time after the Indianapolis 500 taking care of small details, and I think we've taken quite a few pounds of draft out of the car."

Championship leader Sam Hornish Jr was fourth fastest at 213.255 mph in his Dallara-Aurora, closely followed by Shigeaki Hattori's Dallara which lapped at 2132.119mph.

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