Immediately following the TA/SGT/GT mixed-class feature at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was the T2 powered by AEM group’s turn on the 2.43-mile road circuit on Saturday. Twenty-one Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2 drivers rolled out eyeing the chance to take pole at the infamous Brickyard.
But, there can only be one pole starter, and Marc Miller in the No. 40 Prefix Dodge Challenger claimed the honors in the end, eclipsing Rafa Matos’ time by just 15 hundredths of a second with a fast lap time of 1m30.733s.
How tough was this qualifying battle? In the end, the top four drivers were separated by less than nine-tenths of a second.
“Everything is falling into place exactly how we wanted it,” said Miller. “A lot of work had to be done to the car after it went into the barrier at Detroit. We made some changes to the set up and did our homework on what we wanted to unload like.
“The Prefix hemi has been rock solid with a lot of torque,” Miller continued. “The Dodge body is pretty slippery in a straight line, and the car is awesome — the Stevens-Miller guys don’t miss a beat.”
Miller took fastest time in the opening two laps, then parked in pit lane for the majority of the session — until Matos in the No. 88 3Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro bested Miller’s opener, reeling off a 1m30.883s.
Matos, who took pole position last year in Indy, knocked off one more lap, then called it quits for the day.
“Qualifying was a great effort by the team,” Matos said. “We’ve been suffering some engine issues and we thought we figured it out by qualifying, but there were still some lingering problems. I thought I had a great lap coming but the engine just gave up in the middle of the lap and unfortunately, we couldn’t get pole position. But, we are happy with P2.
“The guys are working extremely hard to find out what the issues, but we got everything we could from the car in qualifying. The car is consistent, and I think we will have a really good race tomorrow.”
With just a few minutes left in the session, Miller waited for a gap, then posted a 1m30.733s flyer in his Prefix-powered Dodge to take back pole position.
Scott Lagasse Jr. in the No. 92 SLR/Fields Racing/M1Racecars Chevrolet Camaro, clicked off a fast time of 1m31.480s and will start third in Sunday’s 100-mile feature.
“It was a good qualifying session for us,” Lagasse Jr. said. “Chevrolet is good at Indy. We are kind of working on things now. We spent all practice working on race trim, so to lay that kind of qualifying lap down is good. I hope tomorrow is hot and slick, because that is what we prepared for.”
Dillon Machavern in the No. Liqui-Moly / Prefix Ford Mustang will start fourth, while Tony Buffomante (No. 34 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang) will share Row 3 with sixty-nine-year-old Doug Peterson (No. 87 3Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang).
The TA2 powered by AEM 100-mile/42-lap (or 70 minutes, whichever comes first) feature starts on Sunday at 2:45 p.m. ET. For full results, video updates and photos visit GoTransAm.com.