IRL: Michigan: Cheever Racing qualifying report

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Red Bull Cheever Racing took the track today at Michigan International Speedway in preparation for the Firestone Indy 400. Cooler temperatures allowed the team to get right to work without enduring the extreme heat they faced in...

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Red Bull Cheever Racing took the track today at Michigan International Speedway in preparation for the Firestone Indy 400. Cooler temperatures allowed the team to get right to work without enduring the extreme heat they faced in Milwaukee last weekend.

The day started quickly for Alex Barron in the #51 car, which 10th fastest in the early practice. He turned a best lap of 216.213 mph. However, during the second session, he encountered a gearbox problem, which forced him to retire after only 14 laps without hitting his stride. During the afternoon qualifying session, the afternoon sun slowed speeds down a bit, and he ran a top lap of 214.815 mph. This effort places him 20th on the grid for the race.

"We ran about where we thought we were going to. We've got a good race car. You have to have a car that is fast when you are running, not only the low line, but also the high line. The track changes throughout the course of the race and you have to be in the front with 20 to 30 laps to go in order to make a move to try to win. We are concentrating a lot on the race. We just need to see what happens. I think we are in pretty good shape. It is a long 400 miles," Barron said.

Patrick Carpentier was behind his teammate in the morning practice session where he ran a best lap of 214.863 mph. Then, he turned it up a bit during qualifying where he turned in a 215.027, putting him 19th for the start of the race.

"We put in a new engine for qualifying, and our new Toyota gave us about a half of a mile per hour lift from what we were running this morning, which is a good thing. It seems like on the long speedways that there's something we're not getting, though. The car is lacking a little bit of speed and we can't seem to get it. We'll keep working and looking at the data to figure it out. Hopefully during the race, we'll get it together a little bit and stay with the lead pack," Carpentier said.

The team will return to the track tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. ET for the final 30-minute practice session. Then, the green flag for the Firestone Indy 400 will drop tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET and will air live on ABC.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Barron