By Steve Wittich

The story of the qualifying for Sunday’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products were diametric results for a pair of Pabst Racing drivers.

The good news is that for the third time this season the Slick Locks Sponsored No. 23 piloted by Pabst Racing veteran Colin Kaminsky will start from the pole.

The bad news is that championship leader Hunter McElrea will have to start Sunday’s final race of the season from the final spot on the grid. The Kiwi’s Soul Red No. 22 experienced a throttle pedal sensor issue, and ground to a halt on the 2.258-mile, 11-turn road course twice, causing two red flags. Per the rule book, he was forced to sit out the remainder of the session.

Starting outside of Kaminsky is Eduardo Barrichello, the best qualifying effort for the DEForce Racing second-generation racer.

McElrea’s closest competition for the championship, Eves was mired in the middle of the timing screens until the end of the session. The Cape Motorsports driver was one of five drivers to turn his quickest lap on his final lap of the session.

Barrichello’s DEForce Racing teammate Manuel Sulaiman will start behind his teammate on the outside of the second row.

The first Road To Indy session of Saturday, qualifying for the second USF2000 race, began under sunny skies and with comfortable temperatures in the upper 60s.

McElrea brought out the first of two red flags after coming to a stop in Turn 4 on his out lap. He was able to get his 2.0L engine restarted and made it back to pit lane. The Pabst Racing crew went to work diagnosing the issue.

The green flag came back out, but only a few drivers were able to complete hot laps before the red flag came back out. This time, McElrea’s car had come to a stop on the pit exit lane. He got going again, but per Rule 8.5.5, he had to sit out the remainder of the 20-minute session. Elite Engine’s Steve Knapp confirmed that the issue was with the throttle pedal sensor.

There were only 10-minutes left when the track went back to green.

With five minutes remaining, the quickest driver was Kaminsky. Sulaiman, Crawford, Eves and Reece Gold were the next four drivers on the timing screen.

Kaminsky was the first driver and the only driver to turn a lap under 85 seconds.

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship qualifying #2 unofficial results

1 23 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing 1:24.901 –.—-
2 91 Eduardo Barrichello DEForce Racing 1:25.363 0.4612
3 8 Braden Eves Cape Motorsports 1:25.451 0.5501
4 12 Manuel Sulaiman DEForce Racing 1:25.613 0.7118
5 4 Jak Crawford Cape Motorsports 1:25.687 0.7859
6 3 Reece Gold Cape Motorsports 1:25.767 0.8659
7 2 Darren Keane Cape Motorsports 1:25.774 0.8727
8 14 Zach Holden Legacy Autosport 1:25.794 0.8926
9 21 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 1:25.903 1.0018
10 6 Christian Rasmussen Jay Howard Driver Development 1:26.070 1.1683
11 24 Bruna Tomaselli Pabst Racing 1:26.221 1.3192
12 36 Nolan Siegel Newman Wachs Racing 1:26.267 1.3659
13 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 1:26.332 1.4309
14 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 1:26.423 1.5217
15 73 Kyle Dupell Newman Wachs Racing 1:26.679 1.7773
16 7 Christian Bogle Jay Howard Driver Development 1:27.014 2.1125
17 77 Ayrton Ori Legacy Autosport 1:27.061 2.1598
18 22 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing No Time

The green flag for the first of two Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products races is scheduled to get the green flag at 5:05 pm.