Chicagoland: Series Friday report

BRISCOE WINS THIRD-STRAIGHT POLE AT CHICAGOLAND JOLIET, Ill. (Friday, Aug. 27, 2010) - Ryan Briscoe earned his third consecutive pole position at Chicagoland Speedway winning the pole for the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 under the lights...

BRISCOE WINS THIRD-STRAIGHT POLE AT CHICAGOLAND

JOLIET, Ill. (Friday, Aug. 27, 2010) - Ryan Briscoe earned his third consecutive pole position at Chicagoland Speedway winning the pole for the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 under the lights on Aug. 28.

Briscoe, who notched his third pole start of the season (all on 1.5-mile tracks), won the PEAK Performance Pole Award with a two-lap average of 216.346 mph (50.5857 seconds) for the 200-lap event. Dario Franchitti recorded his 10th consecutive top-five start with an average of 215.593 mph to claim the outside front row starting spot in the No. 10 Breathe Right car.

Will Power, entering the race with a 59-point cushion over Franchitti, recorded an average of 215.521 mph and will join Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves (215.475) on the second row. Marco Andretti will start fifth (215.321 mph) in the No. 26 Team Venom Energy entry for Andretti Autosport.

Danica Patrick (214.750) was the highest qualifier of the record-tying five females in the field (12th in the No. 7 GoDaddy.com car for Andretti Autosport). The 29-car field is separated by one second.

Graham Rahal starts a season-high sixth in the No. 02 Quick Trim car (215.314) for Newman/Haas Racing. Dan Wheldon recovered from the incident at Infineon Raceway earlier in the week for a season-best seventh starting position (215.099). He'll join him Hideki Mutoh, driver of the No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic car for Newman/Haas Racing (215.055) on Row 4.

Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay (214.979) and Takuma Sato (214.945) of KV Racing Technology will be on the fifth row. Ed Carpenter, competing in his second race for Panther Racing/Vision Racing, will start 11th (214.831).

Also on Aug. 27, Charlie Kimball, driving the No. 26 Levemir FlexPen car for AFS Racing Andretti Autosport, topped the initial practice session for the 67-lap Chicagoland Speedway race on the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway oval with a lap of 191.323 mph (28.6008 seconds). Teammate Martin Plowman in the No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers/KEP Printing car was second (190.153; 28.7768).

DAY 1 NOTEBOOK:

Honda overtake assist

Overtake assist was introduced to the series in August 2009 and will make be used for the second time at Chicagoland Speedway in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.

The system employed by Honda Performance Development is an ECU software alteration. It is activated by the driver via a button on the steering wheel and provides an extra 200 RPM (about 10 horsepower) to the Honda Indy V-8 engine. Parameters are updated before each race weekend to meet the circuit layout.

For the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway
20 uses
12 seconds duration each use
10-second recharge period between uses

Firestone Firehawk tires
Each car receives eight sets (32 tires) of tires.

The primary tire specification for Chicagoland Speedway was developed from testing at the track in June. It places new, higher-grip tread compounds for the right-side tires onto the same right-side tire constructions used this season at Kansas and Texas, and pairs that with the identical left-side tire construction/compound specs used at Kansas.

AL SPEYER (Executive Director of Firestone Racing): "These 1.5-mile ovals are always demanding on tires because of the constant high speeds and loads generated, so our engineers and chemists are constantly working to develop the best possible tires for these elite athletes to rely on. We're also pleased to see 29 cars entered for this weekend's IZOD IndyCar Series race, another sign of the series' continuing momentum."

***

Here comes the judge: Tony Kanaan steps out of the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven car at the 1.5-mile oval of Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 4 to a 220-yard street course in Coconut Grove, Fla., the next morning to be the grand marshal of the 411 Pain Great Grove Bed Race.

"I've raced IndyCar, I've raced go-karts and I've raced to bed, but I've never raced a bed," said Kanaan, a Miami resident. "Why do I feel like I'm going to be a part of these races and then feel safer driving an IndyCar at 230 miles per hour?"

Coconut Grove residents, merchants and community groups take part in the hilarious event to benefit the University of Miami Sleep Program and Alonzo Mourning Charities. While speed earns the ultimate checkered flag, awards also will be provided for theme, creativity and decor. Kanaan, District 2 Commissioner Marc Sarnoff and Homestead-Miami Speedway president Matthew Becherer are the judges.

Kanaan will compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship Weekend on Oct. 1-2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he earned his first pole position in 2003.

"We're lucky to have Tony here in South Florida," Becherer said. "He has contributed so much to the success of the IndyCar Series, and his involvement with the bed race shows his commitment to the local community."

***

Look for Mr. Peanut on the track: Planters, Kraft Foods' longtime leader in the salted snacks category, will take its place alongside 7-Eleven this weekend as the primary sponsor of the No. 11 car driven by Tony Kanaan.

The car will sport a blue-and-white livery as part of a larger Planters marketing activation.

Fisher supports "Carey's Hope": Sarah Fisher, driver/owner of Sarah Fisher Racing, also will have a new look on the rear wing of her No. 67 Dollar General car the next two races.

In January 2010, Carey Hall, owner of Hall's Motorsports Refinishing and painter for Fisher's team and fueler for SFR since its inception in 2008, was diagnosed with ALS. Fisher hopes that by displaying the Carey's Hope logo she will raise awareness of the disease and raise funds to help Hall and his family.

"Dollar General and SFR are one big team that works together and supports each other during times of need," said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General's chairman and CEO. "We stand behind Carey and his family during this challenging time and are committed to helping him win his battle with this disease."

Visit www.careyshope.com to make a donation or to purchase a Carey's Hope decal, T-shirt or an ALS wristband.

***

Lloyd leads tight rookie points race: Alex Lloyd advanced 12 positions in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America entry for Dale Coyne Racing to finish 10th in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 22. He earned the Firestone Tire-ific Move of the Race via voting on www.indycar.com.

Lloyd takes an 11-point margin over Simona de Silvestro into the race at Chicagoland Speedway, where he won the pole position in 2007 during his Firestone Indy Lights championship season.

"It's great to have a top 10 with all the BSA officials here for the first time since Indy," he said. "We look forward to getting back to the ovals and continuing this success."

***

Chicago White Sox infielder Omar Vizquel visited the track today as a guest of KV Racing Technology driver E.J. Viso. Viso introduced Vizquel to three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves following practice. Viso and Vizquel are both from Caracas, Venezuela and became friends after meeting at a race at Infineon Raceway two years ago.

OMAR VIZQUEL (Chicago White Sox third baseman): "He's a big baseball fan and came to one of my games when I was with the Giants and I went to (Sonoma) to watch him race. It's a different track than the last time I saw (Viso) race. I'm glad I have a chance to come out here and say hi. It's really exciting to see a different type of track. I can't be here for the race, but I am supporting him this weekend." (What position could E.J. play?): "I think he'd make a good second baseman."

***

PEAK PERFORMANCE POLE QUALIFYING NOTES: * Ryan Briscoe won his third consecutive pole at Chicagoland Speedway. It is his 10th career pole in the IZOD IndyCar Series and his third of the 2010 season. All of Briscoe's 2010 poles have come on 1.5-mile ovals (Kansas, Texas and Chicagoland). * Dario Franchitti qualified second, his 10th consecutive top-five start of the season. * Will Power qualified third, his 12th top-five start of the season. The third starting position ends his streak of six consecutive races starting from the front row. The IZOD IndyCar Series record is seven held by Tony Stewart (1996-1997). * Scott Dixon qualified 15th, ending his record streak of 45 consecutive top- 10 starts. * All 29 cars qualified within 1.0134 seconds of each other.

PEAK PERFORMANCE POLE QUALIFYING QUOTES:

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, PEAK Performance Pole Award winner): "The car today was just spot on. I didn't want to be overconfident but I was thinking after that run, man, that's gotta be hard to beat. I knew we were fully trimmed out and the car felt really solid. It was a great qualifying run today and I'm just really hoping that we can follow through tomorrow and have another good race. We've been strong here the last couple of years and I really enjoy racing around here. It's always exciting. It's a completely wide track that's really smooth. It's got smooth transitions off the banking corners. It really promotes good racing so I always get excited to come back here."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Breathe Right, qualified second): "Qualifying is a like an engineering exercise. It's getting all of those pieces into place and then if you miss one of them, or in Ryan's case, if you get them all just right, then you see the result. We'd like to have that extra point (for the pole) but we're starting up front and I think we have a pretty good car in race trim. One of the things we realize about these one-and-half mile races is really that anything can happen. It can just go completely bad at anytime. It would be nice to stay up front all night, but we're prepared for almost anything."

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske, qualified third): "The Verizon car felt really solid out there today. Our car is fast in race trim and this track is all about the racing. I am looking forward to tomorrow night. We have been knocking on the door on some of the earlier oval races and we are due for our first oval win."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, qualified fourth): "It's good to be back on the ovals, especially here at Chicagoland. The car was good for qualifying. I was really kind of expecting to go 216 mph, but maybe the track was a little slower than practice this morning because of the different rubber on the track. It will be good to start from the second row tomorrow night and I think it's going to be another exciting race here. Congratulations to Ryan for winning the pole. Team Penske is in good shape for the race."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy, qualified fifth): "I think we hit the set up on the Venom car about as good as we were going to for qualifying today. We can't expect much more than that as far as our speed, but I'm optimistic for the race. It's always different when you're on the racetrack with 28 other cars but I think it can be done from fifth. Hopefully we can back that up tomorrow night."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 02 NHR/Quick Trim, qualified sixth): "The Quick Trim car was really good. The guys have been working hard. Obviously we showed up here with a good setup and it was nice. I haven't been on a 1.5 mile oval in almost a year. It was nice to have a good car to be confident and comfortable in. And the qualifying car was as good as we could have it. We're lacking a little bit of speed overall but we're pleased with the starting position. This is a big race for Quick Trim and the home event for the team. I think our race car is pretty quick. It would be nice to have a good result and even nicer to win one."

DAN WHELDON (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing, qualified seventh): "I think the team has done a really, really good job. We didn't run as much as we perhaps we would have liked in the practice session, but the National Guard Panther Racing team worked hard and we had a good, solid qualification run. Tomorrow we just want to drive to the front of the field as quick as we can and stay there. I've got a good car and Ed (Carpenter) has a good car and you can see that based on how we qualified and the speeds that we've done. It's so competitive out here that it's a benefit to have information that you can share; not only between us as teammates but also through the team. Ed and I work very, very well together - so if one thing works for one and something else doesn't work for the other we can combine setups for the race and hopefully have a better overall package because of that. This qualification is just a small part of it and we've got a warm-up still to work hard in to make sure we've got a good car tomorrow for the race."

HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic, qualified eighth): "I appreciate having a teammate in Graham because I really didn't try a qualifying simulation in practice so I copied his setup and it went very well. The car feels good so far and we are going to keep working to improve the race setup. It's definitely nice to race at home and sleep in my own bed."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 37 Ethanol USA/Team IZOD, qualified ninth): "We went a little bit more aggressive for qualifying with the Ethanol USA-Team IZOD car. Tony got a little bit loose during his qualifying run so we made a couple of changes to compensate for that and I think that ended up hurting us on the first lap. But, that is a lot better than we've been on ovals this year. This team has been really pushing to fix that situation and we have results for it. It's always nice when you go to work on something that you get a result."

TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 LOTUS - KV Racing Technology, finished 10th ): "I am very happy with how today went. We worked on race trim for most of the morning session and the qualifying setup. During qualifying I watched how other drivers took the racing line so I could get a better understanding. I am really pleased to be starting 10th and look forward to the race tomorrow."

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Panther/Vision/Fuzzy's Vodka, qualified 11th): "We got off to a rocky start and didn't get to practice before qualifying. There's a big bump between Turn 3 and Turn 4 and we had a problem with the rear suspension that sent me off into the wall during practice this morning. It was unfortunate not to get in some track time but I knew the team set me up with a good car. I messed up the first lap in qualifying a little bit. For not practicing at all we did OK. It's a tough field but if you play your cards right and do your job, I think the Panther cars are good enough to expect a top 5 and contend for a win. The No.20 Fuzzy Ultra Premium Vodka car had good speed at Indy, (Dan) Wheldon (Panther Racing) was fast at Kansas, so we're expecting to do well. With my experience at these places combined with Panther Racing who has had a lot of success over the years on mile and a half ovals, I think we are all expecting to be strong in the remaining races."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven/Planters, qualified 13th): "We had a better car this morning. We made a couple changes for qualifying, looking for a bit more speed, and I think it actually worked against us. It's still a decent lap time, but definitely not as much as we were looking for."

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 36 Conquest Racing, qualified 17th): "Unfortunately we had an issue this morning with the fuel pump and did not get much practice time, but the Conquest engineers and crew did a great job getting us ready to qualify. Had we been able to run the entire practice this morning, I believe there was quite a bit more speed that we could have found in the car. Even in the little time we had, I know we will have a good car in the race. So far, for just putting this relationship together less than 48 hours ago, things have been really good."

RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 HP de Ferran Dragon, qualified 18th): "I'm pretty happy with the run. The engineers did a good job and I was able to place the car where I wanted on the track. It was a fairly quick qualifying, but the most important thing is for us to have a strong car for the race. We're heading in the right direction."

BERTRAND BAGUETTE (No. 34 RACB/Conquest Racing, qualified 20th): "We had a little bad luck this morning in practice and had to make an engine change. The Conquest team worked really hard and we were able to be ready to qualify the RACB car with very little practice time. I am looking forward to practice this afternoon so we can prepare the car for the race tomorrow. After getting out on the track here in Chicago, I am really looking forward to racing on ovals again."

VITOR MEIRA (No. 14 ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing), qualified 24th): "We're changing engines. I'm not saying that is the problem but it is one problem we can eliminate from what could be happening. The ABC Supply car was very good, Jeff and A.J. picked the right gears, right amount of downforce, the right balance. I felt the car being neutral, free and everybody did what they were supposed to do, it just didn't go as fast as we expected or what it should have. A.J.'s in full agreement with that. Since we changed engines, we'll have to start last but qualifying is not a big deal here, because there is so much room to pass. The race car is very good and we'll prove that."

SARAH FISHER (No. 67 Dollar General/Sarah Fisher Racing, qualified 25th): "Qualifying was tough today," said Fisher. "We weren't as fast as we would have liked to have been, but I am very happy with the car and you don't hear me say that very often! I'm confident that the guys will help me find some speed before tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow night. It's good to be back on track in the Dollar General car and to be working with my guys again. I think we have a great race car and I'm excited to get out there."

DAVEY HAMILTON (No. 21 HP de Ferran Dragon, qualified 28th): "We expected a little more speed so we're a little disappointed with qualifying. We do feel like we have a good race trim and we'll keep working on it so that we can put together a strong race."

E.J. VISO (No. 8 PDVSA - KV Racing Technology): "We were pretty happy with the car in the morning practice session. The car was stable in the my qualifying run. We had almost identical lap times. We needed some speed for qualifying but it is an extremely long race. I feel we have a good race car for Saturday. We have come from behind in other oval races this year. So, if we can get a good setup for Saturday night, we can do that again."

MARIO MORAES (No. 32 KV Racing Technology): "I think Chicagoland is a great track and we had a great race here last year to take third. Unfortunately, I don't think we have the same speed as last year right now. But we are working on the speed now and I think we have a pretty good car for the race on Saturday. We'll work on the car's setup tonight for the race and be ready to go."

ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 77 FAZZT Race Team): "Very frustrated! It's disappointing not to have qualified better but the race is obviously what counts. The mile and a half ovals are all a little bit different and as a first year team, we are learning a bit each time on them. I think we've gained a lot in set up and what we've found will be good for the race tomorrow, as well as Kentucky and the rest of the season. I know I can rely on the team to give me a good race car and I know that we can move forward from our starting position."

FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-PRACTICE QUOTES:

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 26 Levemir FlexPen, fastest of the day): "It's another great way to start a weekend. We were quickest in the first practice at Sonoma and now we're fast here at Chicagoland. The No. 26 Levemir FlexPen car is fast. In the pack, out front and by myself, I felt comfortable. I was telling my engineer that we have some things to work on for tomorrow, but we've got a really good place to start from." (About returning to ovals): "It's fun. I forget how much fun running in a pack is. It's great when you can trust the other guys. The Firestone Indy Lights guys committed to each other and we ran two and three wide. It's great for the fans and great for the drivers."

MARTIN PLOWMAN (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers/KEP Printing): "The car felt great, but I was driving with one hand on the steering wheel and one hand on my stomach. I've been fighting a bit of a stomach bug and I spent the last two days in bed, and I finally pulled myself out about 20 minutes before the session started. Obviously the car was good so we did 10 laps and parked it because we didn't want to take any risks. I'll get to bed early tonight and see if we can get enough rest to get out there for tomorrow."

***

The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues Aug. 28 with the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 7 p.m. (ET) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 212. The race also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Chicagoland 100 on Aug. 28 at Chicagoland Speedway.

-source: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Takuma Sato , Tony Stewart , Sarah Fisher , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Graham Rahal , Dan Wheldon , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Ryan Briscoe , Charlie Kimball , Marco Andretti , Alex Lloyd , Will Power , Simona de Silvestro , Martin Plowman , Hideki Mutoh , Dale Coyne , A.J. Foyt , Danica Patrick
Teams Andretti Autosport , Panther Racing , Team Penske , KV Racing Technology , FAZZT Race Team , Conquest Racing , Dale Coyne Racing