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Kaiser scores second pole of Indy Lights season at Phoenix

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AVONDALE, Ariz. – Kyle Kaiser in the No. 18 Juncos Racing Dallara IL-15 Mazda scored his second pole of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season, in three races.

The young Californian also nabbed the pole for the season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, which was his first career pole position. He was also the only driver to score podiums in both St. Petersburg races.

Kaiser, in the Intervision-backed entry, set a two-lap average of 167.872 mph, a new track record, at the 1.022-mile Phoenix International Raceway.

He went out fourth and noted it was important to go out when he did, because the sun got worse as the session progressed. He sweated it out but hung on despite the nerve-wracking wait.

Ed Jones, in the No. 11 Carlin entry, starts second ahead of Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires champion Santiago Urrutia in the No. 55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car.

Jones had arguably the moment of the day with this save, as tweeted out by NBCSN Indy Lights analyst Anders Krohn below:

RC Enerson, who led the Indy Lights test at Phoenix in February, starts fourth ahead of Felix Serralles, one of the two St. Petersburg race winners.

Serralles led the morning practice while Kaiser led the second practice.

St. Pete race two winner Felix Rosenqvist qualified 13th for his oval debut. Belardi Auto Racing teammate Zach Veach didn’t get to qualify following an accident in second practice, but will start from the rear of the 16-car field tomorrow.

Saturday’s race will occur at 1:30 p.m. MT and local time (same as PT) from Phoenix, and will air on NBCSN on Wednesday, April 6, at 2:00 am EDT.

Times are below:

Alex Zanardi showing signs of interaction three months after crash

Alex Zanardi recovery
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MILAN — Italian racing driver turned Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi has started responding to treatment with signs of interaction, more than three months after he was seriously injured in a handbike crash.

Zanardi has spent most of that time in intensive care after crashing into an oncoming truck during a relay event near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19.

“For several days now. Alex Zanardi has undergone cognitive and motor rehabilitation sessions, with the administration of visual and acoustic stimuli, to which the patient responds with momentary and initial signs of interaction,” the San Raffaele hospital in Milan said in a statement Thursday.

The hospital said that is “significant progress” but added that his condition remains serious, and that it would be “absolutely premature” to make a long-term prognosis.

Zanardi, 53, suffered serious facial and cranial trauma in the crash and was put in a medically induced coma. Doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

He was operated on several times to stabilize him and reconstruct his severely damaged face and the Milan hospital added that he recently had undergone another surgery to reconstruct his skull and would have another one in the coming weeks.

Zanardi lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago. He won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He also competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.