Skip Barber National Finale: Daly Draws First Blood in Chase for $350,000

Friday, October 03, 2008 ALTON, Va. – Conor Daly drew first blood by taking pole for race one as he and three others – Josef Newgarden, Felipe Polehtto and Fabio Orsolon – battle each other to win the 2008 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda championship and its $350,000 prize. Just 10 points separate points leader Daly (with today’s pole, he’s got 340) from fourth-place Orsolon (330). Newgarden is second at 334 and Polehtto third, at 331.

Daly only did seven hot laps during the qualifying session, but his third one was the charm, taking advantage of a three car draft to put up a 2:07.561. Connor De Phillippi put in 14 laps, with his best, a 2:07.624, accomplished on lap eight and good enough for second on the grid, just .063 behind Daly. Newgarden and Orsolon fill row two. Polehtto qualified fifth – he wasn’t real happy – but he was only 4/10s behind Daly.

With two very long straights, VIR is a drafting track for the Hanford Device-equipped SBF2000s. Figuring out where to be with the last couple of laps to go will be the key to victory.

To determine the final points standing, Skip Barber National drivers count their best 13 of the year’s 14 races. Heading into Saturday’s penultimate race, at this point Daly is dropping 19 points (12th, at VIR in April); Newgarden is dropping 23 (eighth, at Thunderbolt last month); Polehtto 19 (121th at Thunderbolt); and Orsolon 21 (10th at Sebring). The least amount of points a driver can earn this weekend at VIR is 16, the points for a 15th-place finish.

Friday, October 3, Qualifying for race one (round 13 of 14)
BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda
Virginia International Raceway, 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course

1. Conor Daly, 2:07.561
2. Connor De Phillippi, 2:07.624
3. Josef Newgarden, 2:07.839
4. Fabio Orsolon, 2:07.982
5. Felipe Polehtto, 2:07.997
6. Lee Carpentier, 2:09.092
7. Sean Rayhall, 2:09.445
8. Stevan McAleer, 2:09.490
9. Chris Oliver, 2:09.709
10. Victor Carbone, 2:09.793
11. Victor Pedrosa, 2:09.817
12. Gustavo Linares, 2:10.494
13. Nick Tonkin, 2:10.599
14. Dom Bastien, 2:11.659
15. Peter Tucker, 2:12.386

Rick Roso

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