IRL: Mid-Ohio: Rahal Letterman Racing qualifying report

RYAN HUNTER-REAY SCORED TOP-10 QUALIFYING SPOT TO LEAD RLR EFFORTS AT MID-OHIO LEXINGTON, Ohio--Making your first-ever IndyCar Series start with no testing and about 72 hours of notice before strapping into a 675-horsepower Indy Car on one of...

RYAN HUNTER-REAY SCORED TOP-10 QUALIFYING SPOT TO LEAD RLR EFFORTS AT MID-OHIO

LEXINGTON, Ohio--Making your first-ever IndyCar Series start with no testing and about 72 hours of notice before strapping into a 675-horsepower Indy Car on one of the most technical road courses in the country?

No problem for Rahal Letterman Racing's newest driver as Ryan Hunter-Reay (#17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone) jumped into the car this weekend without a second of testing and posted the team's best road-course qualifying result of the season on a Chamber of Commerce weather day at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Hunter-Reay snapped off a quick lap of 1:08.8743 (118.024 mph) around the 2.258-mile road course to qualify 10th for this weekend's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by Westfield Insurance. The Floridian broke into the 68-second range in Saturday morning's practice, then posted his best lap of the weekend when it counted the most, thrilling a large crowd that poured into the 45-year-old facility.

"We're doing a great job for our first weekend out here together," Hunter-Reay said. "The Ethanol car is very strong, the team has worked extremely hard and things are progressing well for us. We're jumping in the deep end with no testing but I've learned a lot from Scott (Sharp) and the engineers, and I've run here a lot so all that put together has really helped us."

Scott Sharp (#8 Patron Dallara/Honda/Firestone) did not fare as well today, and will start 15th after posting a time of 1:10.236 (115.743 mph). Sharp, who had nearly gotten into the 68-second bracket in morning practice, suffered a slight bobble through the vital first turn of the track, putting him off of what he and the team was hoping for.

"We're not very happy with that lap. I was expecting a lot more out of it," Sharp said. "I got a little loose in Turn One, lost about five mph on my exit speed and that cost me throughout the entire lap. We'll try and make the car better for tomorrow and make up some ground in the race."

The Honda Indy 200 will take place tomorrow afternoon with the 85-lap event slated to begin at 1:30 Eastern Time. Fans can follow all of the action live on ABC.

-credit: rlr

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp