Paul Tracy will start the Grand Prix of Cleveland from pole position after setting the quickest time in Friday qualifying.

The defending Champ Car World Series champion was already assured of a front row start after setting the quickest time on Thursday, but managed to improve in the second session to beat rookie Justin Wilson to the top spot.

Wilson, currently leading the rookie charts, put in his most impressive qualifying performance to give the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team its first ever front row grid slot with team co-owner Eric Bachelart saying he was "thrilled" at seeing his outfit taking the fight to the more experienced competition.

Sebastien Bourdais, bumped off the front row for the first time in 2004, made up slightly for the disappointment of losing his quickest time from the first session to claim third on the grid, ahead of the RuSPORT Lola of another rookie A.J Allmendinger in a career best fourth.

Alex Tagliani starts the race from fifth place while current points leading Bruno Junqueira could only manage sixth after struggling to get a traffic free run.

The big loser in Friday qualifying was Ryan Hunter-Reay who was the only driver not to improve on his time from Thursday. Having been third in the opening session, he could only manage 12th in the second and will start the race from ninth place. Hunter-Reay also caused the session to end early when he stalled on the grass after narrowly avoiding the wall at turn eight with only a few minutes of the session remaining.

The Grand Prix of Cleveland takes place on Saturday night.