CHAMPCAR: Long Beach: Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Saturday report

McDONALD'S DRIVER WILSON EARNED HIS SEVENTH CAREER POLE AT THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH; HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER RAHAL TO START NINTH Justin Wilson, No. 02 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone: "I knew the McDonald's car was working...

McDONALD'S DRIVER WILSON EARNED HIS SEVENTH CAREER POLE AT THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH; HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER RAHAL TO START NINTH

Justin Wilson, No. 02 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone: "I knew the McDonald's car was working well and I was on a really good lap early in the session. We came into Turn 9 and a car spun between 9 and 10 and it was quite frustrating because I know I was up four-tenths on my previous lap, which was probably pretty good. I was expecting to be in the mid-6's at that point, but there was a car in the way and I had to back off. After that I had overshot my tires and was sliding around a bit more. We had to push hard and the team was telling me there was a lap time I had to beat, so I was just very pleased to sneak one in there in the last few seconds and get my car on pole again. We're going to try the best we can to go out on a high, which is quite an emotional event for everybody, being the last Champ Car race. It's a shame, but... We want to do the best we can, and if we're good enough we'll be there, and if it's not good enough, maybe Alex (Tagliani) will be there. It's going to be a fun race. I'm focused on trying to win. I want to win for myself and the team, McDonald's, and also (wife) Julia and (seven-day old daughter) Jane back at home. It's been an amazing week for myself, so I'm sure I'm of the world right now. It would be great to see this off with a win tomorrow. I feel like I'm performing well. I'm feeling good. It's also down to the individual lap. I think it was my fifth lap, I was not thinking about anything. My mind was completely blank, and I was up quite a lot. At that point I was in the zone and got into it because it takes a little bit to recompose yourself at that stage and go again, knowing that you've got to push hard to beat Alex. There is always some pressure from a guy who's won the championship four years in a row. But it's more so here and more so in qualifying than any other time. Now I feel like I've proven myself, and it's getting easier every day. But once we go to the IndyCar Series, it's a totally different animal and it's a different set of rules. I feel like I'm starting with a fresh sheet of paper there."

Graham Rahal, No. 2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone: "Today was kind of a mess. We can't seem to find a set up for the car that we want, or that I like. It's been a difficult couple of days so hopefully we can start to get some things figured out but there is not much time left. That (qualifying) session was a joke. We had all these guys in front of us and also guys stacked up behind us. Viso was right behind us and he's ticked off. Everybody was fighting for track position out there and I had the guys in front of me doing the same thing. Its tough to pass here; we'll just have to try to take an alternate strategy and make up some positions that way because I doubt we'll be able to get to the front only due to passing. All the drivers are so similar in terms of lap times that its tough to get by. We need to finish to get some points. The biggest thing is that we need to cross the finish line tomorrow -- especially if this race is for points."

-credit: nhlr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Graham Rahal