Andretti Autosport Sonoma qualifying report

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Andretti Autosport press release

CONWAY LEADS ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT QUALIFYING RUNS AT INFINEON RACEWAY

Mike Conway, Andretti Autosport
Mike Conway, Andretti Autosport

Photo by: IndyCar Series

SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 27, 2011) - Long Beach winner Mike Conway looked to be in contention for a pole run Saturday on the 2.3-mile Infineon Raceway road circuit in the Northern California wine country.

Conway, the 28-year-old driver of the No. 27 Team @FollowAndretti entry, advanced to the second round of qualifications and jumped to the top of the timing charts earlier in the 10-minute session. The British native worked hard to move into the coveted Firestone Fast Six finale for Sunday's Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, set to be televised at 4 p.m. EDT on Versus TV.

Conway's time of one minute, 18.938 seconds missed the top six final round by two hundreds of a second and the personable Brit had to settle for seventh in the 28-driver field. Conway, who didn't compete last year at Sonoma due to Indy 500 injuries, will be attempting to return to the podium in Sunday's 75-lap feature. In Conway's only appearance at Infineon Raceway in 2009, he drove from the ninth starting position to place third, his first IZOD IndyCar Series podium finish. In April, Conway captured his first IndyCar Series win in the streets of Long Beach.

Marco Andretti, who won his first IZOD IndyCar Series race here in 2006, posted the 14th best time in the No. 26 Team All Natural Snapple car with a time of 1:19.371, while New Hampshire winner Ryan Hunter-Reay clocked in the 19th position at 1:19.640 in the No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda machine and Danica Patrick was 25th in the No. 7 Team GoDaddy.com car at 1:19.785.

Earlier in the day, Go Daddy announced that it will have three generations of Andrettis - Mario, Michael and Marco - as spokespersons for the next few years in a worldwide promotion. In addition, Go Daddy will continue to serve as a sponsor on an Andretti Autosport entry in the IZOD IndyCar Series. The Go Daddy driver and car will be revealed in the near future.

MARCO ANDRETTI, #26 TEAM ALL NATURAL SNAPPLE CAR
Starts the race in 14th position

"We were limited on the front of the car and that's where we lost the most lap time today. We're really struggling a bit with the car - it was too conservative for qualifying. For qualifying you have to make the car turn and the Snapple car wasn't turning today. We'll do our best to gain track position during the race tomorrow."

MIKE CONWAY, #27 TEAM @FOLLOWANDRETTI CAR
Will start the race in P7

"The car is pretty good until the tires start to fall off. You can get about two or three laps with the red (Firestone) tires in qualifying. If you get a good rhythm, you can improve on your fourth lap. But it is tough. I'm sorry that qualifying didn't work out for the rest of the guys because they took my direction on the setup. They didn't seem to have a good run. The track in qualifying wasn't the same as practice. When I went out on the reds (tires), I said, 'Whew, the track isn't as good as before.' But we have decent starting spot. I'd sure like to put the car up on the podium again. The first time I came here in 2009, I was third. I didn't get a chance to race here last year."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, #28 TEAM DHL/CIRCLE K/ SUN DROP CITRUS SODA CAR
Qualified for the race in P19

"We had some issues in the first round of qualifying that we really hadn't seen before. We were off about seven tenths of a second in two of the slowest corners on the track. Those should be the easiest corners for us. They are second gear turns. It is a little like street course handling. Wow, we have to get it figured out for Sunday's race. Sunday is really the only day that counts for the DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop team."

DANICA PATRICK, #7 TEAM GoDaddy.com CAR
Will start the race in 25th position

"Qualifying didn't go our way today. We were hoping for some speed after practice earlier, but we didn't quite have it. We'll work hard to get the GoDaddy.com car ready for the race and move up the field tomorrow."

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Series INDYCAR
Tags andretti, conway, danica, honda, infineon