Skip Barber National at NJMP: Qualifying 1

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Court Vernon took the pole for NJMP’s race one with a lap of 1:29.656.

MILLVILLE, N.J. (June 13) – Close? Try 16 drivers within 1 second of each other, from the pole time of Court Vernon at 1:29.656 to 16th-quick Julian Albarracin’s 1:30.698. That was qualifying for the first of two races at New Jersey Motorsports Park in the 2009 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda. NJMP’s Thunderbolt track, 2.170 miles long and bit more seasoned as compared to its opening last year, seems tailor-made for the SBF2000 Skip Barber cars – and the drivers took full advantage.

Vernon put in eight hot laps during the qualifier and it was on his last of those that he turned his 1:29.656. Stevan McAleer, on the other hand, went hot for 14 laps, with a best of 1:29.791 done on his fifth. It got him alongside Vernon for the race-one grid, a scant .004 ahead of Brett Smrz (1:29.795). Sean Rayhall, Kyle Marcelli and Connor De Phillippi rounded out the first three rows.

Saturday, June 13, starting grid for Saturday race one (round 5 of 14) following Q1
BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda
New Jersey Motorsport Park/Thunderbolt Raceway

1. Court Vernon, 1:29.656
2. Stevan McAleer, 1:29.791
3. Brett Smrz, 1:29.795
4. Sean Rayhall, 1:29.888
5. Kyle Marcelli, 1:29.909
6. Connor De Phillippi, 1:29.980
7. Sage Karam, 1:30.040
8. Jason Toft, 1:30.147
9. Felipe Polehtto, 1:30.230
10. Michael Dorrbecker, 1:30.258
11. Robert LaRocca, 1:30.554
12. Dennis Trebing, 1:30.605
13. Corey Lewis, 1:30.615
14. Michael Vincec, 1:30.635
15. Isaac Lyons, 1:30.658
16. Julian Albarracin, 1:30.698
17. Ian Costa, 1:30.910
18. Ashley Freiberg, 1:31.297
19. Arrie Maree, 1:31.425
20. Michael Ramies, 1:31.555
21. Carlos Linares, 1:31.584

Hoping to turn his season around is Stevan McAleer. Starting on the front row alongside Vernon is a good, um, start…

Doing double-duty is Brett Smrz, who’s also racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup this year. He’s starting third in SBN’s race one.

Sean Rayhall qualified fourth. He won one of the two races here at NJMP last year.

Rookie Kyle Marcelli is also racing two series this weekend: Skip Barber National and IMSA Lites. He’ll start fifth in SBN race one.

Points leader Connor De Phillippi (#58) qualified sixth, albeit just three-tenths off Vernon’s pace.

Rick Roso; photos by Rick Roso & Greg Clark

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