Saturday, April 10, 2010

Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Qualifying Sees Will Power Up Front

Photo Credit: Steve Swope/Penske Racing

Will Power flies to a second straight pole for the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season. Lapping the Barber Motorsports Park 2.38 mile road course a 1 minute, 10.1356 seconds
Driving his #12 Verizon-sponsored Penske Racing car, Power's top time almost mirrored his fastest effort during Friday practice. As qualifying concluded, the #12 Penske Racing car was almost a mile per hour average faster than the performance of his closest time trial rival.

Starting on the front row, sophomore driver Mike Conway impressed by recording the 2nd fastest time. Through a drastic pick-up from Friday practice, the #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing flew to time of 1 minute, 10.6510 seconds. Only his 3rd career appearance in the Firestone Fast Six, Conway run is also his best qualifying result entering into only his 20th IndyCar race.

Another Penske Racing car which backed-up on the Friday performance the #3 of Helio Castroneves. Snatching 3rd in the timed session, Castroneves commented on starting near the top of the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama grid saying "It's always important to qualify upfront, no matter what place. But certainly here it seems to be a very challenging place." Also acknowledging in a post-qualifying press conference that pit strategy will be an unknown for many teams, Helio Castroneves props up his team saying "We'll continue doing very, very well. But for the No. 3 guys, we are stepping up every race, so hopefully tomorrow will be a good day for us.".

Wrapping up the Firestone Fast Six is Andretti Autosport's Marco Andretti, Scott Dixon Target/Chip Ganassi, and Japanese rookie Takuma Sato driving for KV Racing. Fourth place in the session Marco Andretti was asked in post-qualifying about the obvious small gains in Andretti Autosport. Responding to what changes have been made to Andretti Autosport, Marco Andretti responded "Making the car's comfortable for us to drive. The difference is, and the thing I've personally been pushing for in the off‑season is you listen to your drivers a bit more than what the computer tells them." After qualifying, Scott Dixon seemed mildly impressed with his #9 car. "So surprised we made it into the Fast Six with just how the car is handling. But we'll take another stab at it tonight and hopefully try and make a few changes for the warm‑up, and get some consistency back in the car, especially for the race tomorrow." Dixon said.

The inaugural running of the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is set for Sunday April 11th at 3:30 p.m. airing on the Versus in the United States and TSN in Canada.

2010 Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
IZOD IndyCar Series
Qualifying Results

1) #12 Will Power/Australia/ Penske Racing
2) #24 Mike Conway/England/ Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
3) #3 Helio Castroneves/Brazil/ Penske Racing
4) #26 Marco Andretti/United States/ Andretti Autosport
5) #9 Scott Dixon/New Zealand/ Target/Chip Ganassi Racing
6) #5 Takuma Sato/Japan/ KV Racing Technology
7) #10 Dario Franchitti/Scotland/ Target/Chip Ganassi Racing
8) #11 Tony Kanaan/Brazil/ Andretti Autosport
9) #6 Ryan Briscoe/Australia/ Penske Racing
10) #8 EJ Viso/Venezuela/ KV Racing Technology
11) #22 Justin Wilson/England/ Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
12) #32 Mario Moraes/Brazil/ KV Racing Technology
13) #78 Simona De Silvestro/Switzerland HVM Racing
14) #37 Ryan Hunter-Reay/United States/ Andretti Autosport
15) #67 Graham Rahal/United States/ Sarah Fisher Racing
16) #19 Alex Lloyd/England/ Dale Coyne Racing
17) #06 Hideki Mutoh/ Japan/ Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
18) #2 Raphael Matos/Brazil/ Luczo Dragon/de Ferran Motorsports
19) #7 Danica Patrick/United States/ Andretti Autosport
20) #14 Vitor Meira/Brazil/ AJ Foyt Enterprises
21) #77 Alex Tagliani/Canada/ FAZZT Race Team
22) #34 Mario Romancini/Brazil/ Conquest Racing
23) #4 Dan Wheldon/England/ Panther Racing
24) #18 Milka Duno/Venezuela/ Dale Coyne Racing
25) #36 Bertrand Baguette/Belgium/ Conquest Racing

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