Homestead: KVT/Team Australia qualifying report

POWER QUALIFIES 21ST FOR INDYCAR DEBUT AT HOMESTEAD Will Power will start his IndyCar Series debut from 21st position after a steady run in qualifying for the Gainsco Auto Insurance 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida ...

POWER QUALIFIES 21ST FOR INDYCAR DEBUT AT HOMESTEAD

Will Power will start his IndyCar Series debut from 21st position after a steady run in qualifying for the Gainsco Auto Insurance 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida today.

Power is not only embarking on his first IndyCar race following the merger of Champ Car and the Indy Racing Leauge in February, this will be the 27-year-old's second race on an oval and his first on a 1.5-mile oval. Power's only previous oval start came at the Milwaukee Mile in 2006.

The Australian was 19th fastest in first practice and 15th fastest in second practice in the #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone earlier today.

Power is taking a relatively conservative approach this weekend and completed a steady four-lap run in qualifying, ensuring he keeps his car straight for tomorrow's race on a day when two others crashed hard into the wall on their qualifying run.

KV Racing Technology, which received its first IndyCar chassis just three weeks ago and has only tested on an oval once, a two day test on March 24-25 here in Homestead, spent practice continuing the development work they began earlier this week.

Power was also confirmed as one of nine drivers out of the 26-car field to be named as candidates for this year's Bombardier Learjet Rookie of the Year Award for this year's IndyCar Series today.

Power is joined by fellow ex-Champ Car drivers Justin Wilson (Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing), Enrique Bernoldi (Conquest Racing), Franck Perera (Conquest Racing, Ernesto Viso (HVM Racing), Mario Moraes (Dale Coyne Racing) and Graham Rahal (Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing) as well as Hideki Mutoh of Andretti Green Racing and Jay Howard of Roth Racing as rookie-status drivers.

WHAT THE TEAM HAD TO SAY --

Will Power - #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone

"I was basically flat all the way round, I felt the KVRT Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia car was improved from practice today, but we were lacking a little bit of pace," said Power.

"For me it is just about the race, get as many miles as I can, learn how to run in traffic while finding more out about the car."

Craig Gore - Team Australia creator

"Will knows that this weekend is just about learning and playing on the conservative side of things," said Gore.

"It's been a great team effort to get to this point and oval racing is a tough discipline to master. Will has done very well so far this week and he will get a great deal out of the race tomorrow.

"With almost no oval experience, Will is finding his feet and picking things up quickly.

"There is a lot of excitement around IndyCar racing with tomorrow's race. Everyone involved in Aussie Vineyards and Team Australia is extremely excited to be a part of this new era in open-wheel racing and we're right behind Will."

-credit: team australia

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Enrique Bernoldi , Justin Wilson , Graham Rahal , Will Power , Jay Howard , Mario Moraes , Hideki Mutoh , Dale Coyne , Ernesto Viso , Franck Perera
Teams KV Racing Technology , Conquest Racing , Dale Coyne Racing