IRL: Harrington Pikes Peak Qualifying

Harrington Qualifies Eighth at PPIR FOUNTAIN, Colo., June 26 - He only had one lap instead of two to qualify due to an engine misfire on his first attempt. He was driving with a broken right leg, torn ligaments...

Harrington Qualifies Eighth at PPIR

FOUNTAIN, Colo., June 26 - He only had one lap instead of two to qualify due to an engine misfire on his first attempt. He was driving with a broken right leg, torn ligaments in his left leg and three cracked ribs. Still, on Saturday afternoon at Pikes Peak International Raceway Scott Harrington put the CertainTeed Building Products G-Force Aurora No. 66 into row four for Sunday's Radisson 200 Pep Boys Indy Racing League event with a sizzling lap of 173.745 mph. Harrington will start eighth in the field of 25 for tomorrow's race, which gets the green flag at noon and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Net. Harrington was scheduled to be the 18th driver out to qualify on Saturday, but when he entered the track he dropped down onto the warm-up lane because the car was misfiring. As soon as he got back to his pit area on the frontstretch close to turn four, crewmembers from both Harrington Motorsports and the company that prepared his Aurora engine, Brayton Engineering, poured over the car. The rulebook states that if a team isn't ready for their qualifying attempt at the specified time, they lose one of their two laps and must go to the back of the lineup. The track announcer even thought qualifying was over when Harrington pulled back onto the track to take his single qualifying run at 2:11 p.m. The CertainTeed Building Products No. 66 uses Firestone tires, and the Firestone Tire engineers on hand reported that the ambient temperature was 94 degrees and the track temperature was 138 degrees when Harrington took the green flag. "I had mixed emotions on whether to stand on it or not," Harrington said later. "Mentally if you know you only have one lap, you tend to be a little more conservative, and I rolled out of it a little in turn two. The CertainTeed Building Products car was really hooked up though, so duplicating our best qualifying effort ever with an eighth is fantastic! That was at Phoenix and we ended up finishing fifth in that race, so hopefully we'll be able to do that well tomorrow here too." The big question for Harrington tomorrow is going to be the endurance factor. "When you've been laid up for a couple of weeks and you're not as active as you usually are, it's tough," Harrington said. "We just don't know how it's going to be for 200 laps tomorrow. We've probably run 200 laps since we've been here, but it's been in 10-lap stints. "I don't really see too many problems with my leg and my feet; it's my three cracked ribs that I'm most concerned about," he added. "It can take your breath away a little. With the heat and the altitude and the close racing in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League, it's always a challenge. But I got my start in motocross, and anybody who has raced motocross knows how to ride with pain. That's a pretty brutal sport." Harrington is on an intense rehabilitation program since his accident at Texas Motor Speedway two weeks ago, including ultrasound. He is using extra padding on his legs when he's driving and he plans to have his ribs taped up tomorrow for the race. There is also a little extra padding in the cockpit this weekend too. "Racing in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League is very intense, and it's going to make for some serious, wheel-to-wheel, close-quarters racing tomorrow," he added. "We'll just suck it up and grit our teeth, but I wouldn't mind a few yellows...provided I'm not involved in them. We'll just have to see what happens!"

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Harrington