Ben Spies confesses the prospect of setting a new record for consecutive pole positions – on home ground – left him feeling the pressure during Superpole at Miller Motorsports Park, but he was delighted to complete his 'proud' achievement.
The American rewrote the record books with a seventh straight pole position, breaking a record belonging to Doug Polen from 1991. His feat is made all the more impressive given his rookie status.
Achieving it rather poignantly in front of a home crowd at the Utah circuit, Spies admits he felt under pressure to secure the record in front of his fans, so was relieved to come away some half a second up on the competition.
“I wanted to treat it like any other qualifying session,” he said, “but there was some added drama today with the record on the line. That and the fact that I was expected to do well here at my home track, plus the weather moving in. All of that had my attention today. Anything less than winning the pole would have been tough to take and that's a tough position to be in.”
While his Saturday performances are brought into rather sharp focus by the fact he remains 88 points adrift of leader Noriyuki Haga in the standings, Spies insists it is a feat to be proud of nonetheless.
“It feels great to break the get into the record books,” he added. “There have been some ups and downs, but the team is working hard, we've got a great bike and I do feel winning seven straight poles is a major accomplishment we can be proud of.”