IRL: Firestone Richmond qualifying report

Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver Jaques Lazier posted a speed of 160.417 mph to take the pole at the inaugural SunTrust Indy Challenge in Richmond. The IRL's first trip to the Richmond International Raceway was marked by extreme conditions with ...

Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver Jaques Lazier posted a speed of 160.417 mph to take the pole at the inaugural SunTrust Indy Challenge in Richmond. The IRL's first trip to the Richmond International Raceway was marked by extreme conditions with temperatures soaring to 98 degrees ambient and 119 degrees on the track during the qualifying round.

"We knew Richmond would be a challenging race with its extreme temperatures and dark asphalt," said Joe Barbieri, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Project Supervisor. "Our engineers did an excellent job of specing the correct tire for this race. Optimum adhesion was not possible early in the qualifying run due to the excessive amount of rubber that was laid down by the support series competitors. However, once the track was clean, the tires performed flawlessly and drew high praise from the IRL drivers. Due to the excessive rubber on the track, we have decided to provide all teams with an extra set of Firestone Firehawk racing tires for the weekend."

Jaques Lazier:

"I'm real proud of the guys on my team. They worked really hard and I'm proud of them. It will be really difficult to pass tomorrow. The drivers with the most consistent cars will be in the best shape for this track. The Firestone tires were excellent for me today."

Sarah Fisher (2nd fastest, 159.891 mph):

"I grew up on short tracks, so I'm really excited to be here. The thing about short tracks is that, to do well, you have to find the limit. I found it yesterday. But we came back and made some changes and we're ready for the race. The tires were excellent today, they adapted to all the different rubber out there and performed very well."

Scott Sharp:

"The track changes a lot. There have been different conditions every time we've been out on the track. But the Firestones were really consistent and strong every time out there. They have been our saving grace."

Mark Dismore:

"The track was different today because the Super Modifieds ran before us. The track will get better, though. I'd like to thank Firestone for giving us an extra set of tires for the weekend."

Qualifying temperatures were 98 degrees track and 119 degrees ambient (F).

-Firestone

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Scott Sharp , Mark Dismore , Sam Schmidt , Jaques Lazier