Ryan Hunter-Reay: "...that's just unfortunate - to lose it by a half tenth (of a second) hurts more than losing it by four tenths."
Hunter-Reay qualified the DHL Chevy in the second position in today's afternoon qualifying, just nearly missing the pole position in the closing seconds of the session. He started on the outside of the front row in 2010 and 2011 here in Long Beach, taking victory in 2010.
James Hinchcliffe will roll off tomorrow from the seventh position for the 80-lap race around the streets of Long Beach. Today marks the Canadian native's third and best qualifying effort at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.
James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet: "Up and down day, I guess. A little disappointed to be starting seventh in the Go Daddy car. Happy for Ryan (Hunter-Reay) - congrats to him on the front row. You know, to miss the Firestone Fast Six by such a small margin there, it's a bit heartbreaking.
We had a good car, we missed it just that tiny little bit. It's obviously an improvement over Barber where we were stuck down in 20th, but not where we want to be just yet. So, we'll put our heads together and try to come up with a strong race car and hopefully we can have a better day tomorrow."
E.J. Viso will make his best start since joining Andretti Autosport when he takes to the 11-turn temporary street course in 10th tomorrow. The 28-year-old will make his sixth start in Long Beach, first with Andretti; the Venezuelan's best start came in 2009 when he rolled off from the fourth position.
E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet: "The top 10 is not bad after the beginning of the weekend that we had; I think we are recovering pretty decently. Three out of the four the cars in our team are starting in the top 10 which is going to benefit us in a race like Long Beach. Starting in the front part of the grid is definitely a benefit. We are going to try to do our best to climb positions as soon as possible and make a good strategy for the race."
Andretti will start tomorrow afternoon's race from the 26th grid position. Originally posting a time good enough for a start inside the top ten, the third-generation racer was penalized for blocking and stripped of his twofastest laps of the day.This will be his fifth start at Long Beach, following a 2009 personal best finish of sixth place on the 1.968-mile course.
Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet: "Today was tough because when a bunch of cars get backed up and I am the only one penalized, it can be pretty frustrating. I don't think anyone gained from this decision, but I do know that our car was way better than where we are starting tomorrow.
As a driver, you kind of have to expect these things happen on a 1.9-mile track with 12 cars on at the same time. The only thing left for us to do is take this on the chin and push even harder tomorrow."