Andretti won the pole position at MAVTV 500

Pole winner Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
Pole winner Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport Chevrolet

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Marco Andretti, Team RC Cola Chevrolet, No. 26 won his second career IndyCar pole position today for the season-ending MAVTV 500. Andretti last won a pole at Milwaukee in 2008. He turned two laps at an average speed of 216.069 mph on the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway. This is the second pole position of the 2012 season for Andretti Autosport. (Ryan Hunter-Reay won the pole at Edmonton.)

About winning the pole : "It means a lot. Just what we have been going through this year, and me in particular, it's just been a very trying year for me and my career. It's good for the confidence, but we've still got to get a race car under us (in a final practice session) tonight, which I think we can do.

Credit to the RC Cola team, but the whole Andretti Autosport team is just taking a huge step up this year. And let the best man win tomorrow."

About his qualifying laps : "The first lap was great. We didn't show it in practice because I didn't want to stick it in the wall during practice. That's what you have to do: you have to risk sticking it in the wall to go flat-out. We got it flat on the first lap, but there was a big understeer on the second lap. We had a bit of a wiggle, which concerned me because we left a little on the table. We just went for it."

James Hinchcliffe, Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, No. 27, qualified 12th for tomorrow's MAVTV 500. Because of numerous engine-change penalties, Hinchcliffe's exact starting position will be determined following the final practice session this evening. "It's a scorcher out here today and it's going to be a hot race, even at night.

It's very difficult track conditions with the track being this hot and we haven't done a whole lot of qualifying-sim work with the Go Daddy Chevy. We've been working a lot on the race car which I think is going to be important. We need to make sure that Ryan (Hunter-Reay) has the best car - we all have the best cars that we can possibly have when we roll on the grid tomorrow.

We have four cars to try and work on different setups and make sure that all of us, but especially the 28, are ready to go out there and do well and try to bring this title back home to Andretti Autosport."

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet, No. 28, will be gunning for his first IndyCar championship in tomorrow evening's 500-mile race. He trails leader Will Power by 17 points, and will need to finish sixth or better in tomorrow's race to have a mathematical chance to win the title. Hunter-Reay was 17th-quickest in the qualifying session, and will take a grid penalty for an engine change before the race.

"Not a great qualifying run for us but it's a 500-mile race, so I'm really not that bummed about it. We just hadn't dialed our qualifying trim in with the DHL/Sun Drop car and that caught us out a bit. We missed the balance and (the car) took off on me a bit there at the exit.

It was definitely hard to put a good two laps together. We've been focusing on the race though - that's the big thing, we haven't done any qualifying runs today so it's something that we just haven't really put a lot of time into. Tonight we'll go out and work on race trim and get these four Andretti cars up front."

Sebastian Saavedra, Team AFS Racing / Andretti Autosport, No. 17, will attempt to complete 600 miles of racing tomorrow. He will start from the pole position in the Indy Lights race and will make his third IndyCar start of the year for Andretti Autosport. Saavedra qualified 21st-quickest in today's IndyCar qualifying session.

"The day started exactly like we wanted. We did a great job in both practice sessions. We qualified on the pole for Firestone Indy Lights, which was great. We want to end the season on a high note. We just need to continue working and improving the Indy car because tomorrow will be a long race.

I don't see our IndyCar qualifying being as important as Indy Lights is, since (the race) will be so long. I believe jumping from one car to the other does mess with your head a little bit. I think I should have improved a little bit in the Indy car, but I am comfortable to bring the car home and focus on the race."

Source: Andretti Autosport

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About this article
Series INDYCAR
Article type Qualifying report
Tags andretti, chevrolet, hinchicliffe, hunter-reay, indycar, mavtv, saavedra