IRL: Atlanta Robby McGehee qualifying

HAMPTON, Ga., April 27 — Robby McGehee of St. Louis recorded the tenth-fastest time in MBNA Qualifying Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway for tomorrow night's zMAX 500 Indy Racing Northern Light Series event, which will be shown live on...

HAMPTON, Ga., April 27 — Robby McGehee of St. Louis recorded the tenth-fastest time in MBNA Qualifying Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway for tomorrow night's zMAX 500 Indy Racing Northern Light Series event, which will be shown live on ESPN2 beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern. The event is the final one before McGehee's most important race of the year, the Indy 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 27.

On Friday night McGehee turned Atlanta's 1.5-mile oval at an average speed of 212.510 mph in Cahill Racing's black Dallara Oldsmobile Firestone #10. Each driver turned two laps in time trials, with the best lap counting. McGehee will be on the outside of row five beside former Indy 500 winner Buddy Lazier for the start of tomorrow night's 200-lap race.

"I'm pretty happy with tenth," said McGehee while preparing to sign autographs in the garage area after the qualifying session. "I think the track got slower as we progressed through the field. We possibly had a gear that was too tall, so I'm glad that we held on to a top 10.

"We finished fourth here last year after starting 16th, so we're OK," he noted. "Tomorrow we're just going to bide our time and try to finish."

As always, the field is extremely competitive. A total of 21 of the 27 starters qualified within one second of one another.

"It's going to be a great race," McGehee predicted. "I love this track."

McGehee was the 16th-fastest driver in practice Friday afternoon, when the fastest of the 86 laps he turned was run at an average speed of 213.585 mph.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby McGehee , Buddy Lazier