Series rookie Hayden Duerson earned his first career pole in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda on Friday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Duerson, from Gulfport, Mississippi, turned a top lap of 1 minute, 14.484 seconds in the No. 39 Performance Tech Motorsports entry in his final trip around the 10-turn, 2.459-mile circuit, the only Canadian stop this season in the series. The pole matched the feat set by Duerson's father, Craig Duerson, who won the pole last month at Kansas Speedway.
"It feels like a long time coming this season," Duerson said. "We've been so competitive so many times and have had such bad luck. From last race having the suspension go, to the race before that having caught fire. It's just great for the Performance Tech team. I've been wanting this all season. Hopefully we can turn it into a win tomorrow."
Round 7 of the season, a 30-minute race, starts at 6:45 p.m. (ET) Saturday. Round 8, a 45-minute race, begins at 9:50 a.m. Sunday.
Qualifications were interrupted early for off-course excursions by the No. 68 Quorum Racing entry of Montreal's Guy Laporte and the ONE Motorsports No. 12 of Tony Bullock. The recess of nearly 10 minutes chipped away at precious time in the 20-minute session, as only a handful of competitors had yet posted a lap. A scant five minutes were left for drivers to lay down their fastest time when the round resumed.
North Vancouver resident Mikhail Goikhberg immediately set the mark after the red flag lifted in his the No. 10 JDC Motorsports Lites 1 Élan DP02 powered by a Mazda engine. Goikhberg stayed at the top of the charts until time ran out in the session, but a handful of contenders were still on track looking for the checkered flag, including Hayden Duerson.
Fellow series rookie Matt McMurry also clipped Goikhberg at the end with a fast lap of 1:14.631 in his No. 20 JDC Motorsports entry, good for second on the grid. Goikhberg's fastest lap of 1:14.651 leaves him starting third.
Brian Alder claimed the Lites 2 class pole in his No. 22 BAR 1 Motorsports entry, setting a qualifying lap record of 1:18.235 for the class. Jerome Mee will line up alongside Alder in the No. 95 Alta Velocita Racing entry with a top lap of 1:18.732 during the session. Todd Slusher will start third in his first race in the class with a lap of 1:18.803 in his No. 62 ONE Motorsports entry.
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