KV RACING TECHNOLOGY QUALIFIES 10th AND 12th FOR PEAK ANTIFREEZE AND MOTOR OIL INDY 300
JOLIET, IL - - SEPTEMBER 6, 2008 - - Round #17 2008 IndyCar Series season - - KV Racing Technology had its best "big oval" qualifying effort of the year today as drivers Will Power and Oriol Servia qualified 10th and 12th respectively for tomorrow's Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.
Power, KV Racing Technology #8 Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone, an IndyCar rookie who is making his first appearance on the 1.5-mile, D-shaped, Chicagoland oval, had a four-lap average of 214.583 mph and will lineup on the outside of Row #5. Servia, CDW KV Racing Technology #5 Honda/Dallara/Firestone, also making his Chicagoland debut, averaged 214.441 mph and will grid on the outside of Row #6.
"The Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia car felt good during qualifying, very consistent and that is always the key for the race," Power said. "If you can have a nice consistent car, that's friendly to drive, then you should do well. Hopefully the way we set it up in practice today will give us a solid car for the race tomorrow."
Commenting on his qualifying effort Servia said, "The CDW KV Racing Technology car felt really good, we had a reasonable time, but it was just a little slower than we thought. The race tomorrow is going to be long with lots of stops, so you need to feel comfortable with the car and I do. Hopefully we will have a good last race of the season tomorrow."
Today's 10th and 12th place starting positions, continues a trend that has seen the KVRT improve its starting positions on big ovals dramatically since the beginning of the season and surpasses the eighth (Power) and 16th (Servia) starting spots earned earlier this year at Texas Speedway.
Power was 12th fastest in this morning's practice with a speed of 215.558 mph while Servia posted the 14th quickest speed, 215.412 mph. During the afternoon practice, which was split into two groups running for half an hour each, Power ran with the first group and posted the ninth fastest lap when the times from both groups were added together with a speed of 215.332 mph putting him 12th on the combined practice report. Servia, in the second group, was 19th fastest in the dual sessions and 14th on the combined report with a lap of 214.413 mph.
In qualifying, Power went out sixth of the 28 drivers who made a qualifying run and had an incredibly consistent effort. His fastest lap was his last, 214.679 mph, and his slowest was his first at 214.521 mph. Power, who earned his second highest big-oval, and third best on any oval, starting spot today, has now qualified in the top-10 seven times in 17 attempts this year including three times on ovals (10th here in Chicago; eighth on the 1.5-mile Texas Speedway and fourth on the one-mile Milwaukee Mile short oval). His best qualifying position is a team high second on the street circuit in St. Petersburg and his best oval starting spot is the team high fourth at Milwaukee. Servia, the 15th driver to qualify, ran four solid laps. His best lap was his first, 214.653 and his slowest was his last, a 214.229. Servia has qualified in the top-10 nine times in 17 races this season. His best starting position is third, Edmonton and Belle Isle and his best oval starting spot is ninth in Milwaukee.
Power, who will be making his 47th career start and just his 11th on an oval, enters tomorrow's race 14th in the standings with 301 points, 33 points out of 10th and third in the Bombardier Learjet Rookie of the Year race trailing Hideki Mutoh by 33 points. The 27-year-old native of Australia has earned five top-10 finishes (four on road or street circuits), including two top-five showings (both on street/road circuits, won in Long Beach and fourth in Mid-Ohio) with one victory in 16 races this year. In 10 previous oval starts, Power has one top-10 finish a ninth place showing earlier this year at Iowa.
Servia is seventh in the championship standings with 345 points, just 14 points out of sixth place. He has finished in the top-10 seven times (five on road/street circuits) including five top-five showings (season high fourth at Detroit and fifth's at Long Beach, Richmond, Mid-Ohio and Edmonton) in the 16 races contested this year. The 34-year-old Spaniard is the highest ranked driver not a member of Andretti Green, Ganassi or Penske Racing. Servia, who is not considered a rookie because of his extensive oval experience, will be making his 142nd career start and 37th on an oval tomorrow. Servia has been the best of the drivers transitioning from Champ Car to the IndyCar Series on ovals. He has the highest finish on an oval, fifth at Richmond, and has the best finish on five of the nine ovals contested this year and the second highest once.