IRL: Milwaukee: Rahal Letterman Racing Saturday report

PATRICK QUALIFIES SIXTH AT MILWAUKEE WEST ALLIS, Wis. - Rahal Letterman Racing's rookie sensation Danica Patrick qualified sixth, her best short oval qualifying effort this season. Patrick led the RLR qualifying results which saw Vitor Meira ...

PATRICK QUALIFIES SIXTH AT MILWAUKEE

WEST ALLIS, Wis. - Rahal Letterman Racing's rookie sensation Danica Patrick qualified sixth, her best short oval qualifying effort this season. Patrick led the RLR qualifying results which saw Vitor Meira qualify eleventh and Buddy Rice fifteenth.

Patrick racing for the third time at the Milwaukee Mile, but the first time as an IndyCar Series driver posted a fast lap of 167.328 mph which claimed her seventh top-ten start in ten races this season. Patrick finished fourth at Milwaukee last season when she ran the RLR Formula Atlantic car.

"Overall, it was a decent run for the Argent/Pioneer Honda," said Patrick. "The track seemed to slow this afternoon so some the speeds were off from where everyone ran this morning. The most important thing is that this car can hold on for 225 laps on Sunday. That is the key for us. I'm just glad my time stood up for the qualifying session. With the temperature change, I wasn't sure if I could stay in the top five or six. The car is pretty well balanced. Sunday's race will be a matter of getting through traffic. You have to be confident in your passing and attacking the corners. We'll do our best and pray for a little luck on Sunday. I'm very fortunate that I have a lot of support wherever I go and even more so here in Milwaukee. I have a lot of family and friends that come from Roscoe (Illinois about an hour away) to see me race. This is the closest track to my hometown."

Vitor Meira will start eleventh in the ABC Supply Company / A J Foyt 225 after posting a fast lap of 164.895 mph. A year Meira was the pole winner at Milwaukee, but slick track conditions in the soaring temperatures made the No. 17 Rahal Letterman Team Menard/Johns Manville Honda difficult to handle.

"The car was touching and sliding too much in qualifying," said Meira. "It wasn't a good run today. We tried several settings on the car that just didn't work. We were on the edge coming into qualifying and we just went over it. We thought the car would be a lot faster in qualifying. But I feel confident about the race though. We ran really well with full tanks in practice. I think we'll have a good car for the race as we expect very hot conditions. That will make the race pretty exciting."

A year ago Buddy Rice started third and finished second at the Milwaukee Mile. This year Rice has his work cut out for him as he will start 15th after fighting a loose car in qualifying.

"It was very slick to say the least for us," said Rice. "We didn't have a good car for the track this afternoon. It was a real handful out there for me. The air and temperature changed a lot this afternoon and I think that made for a difficult track for a lot of guys. We were pretty pleased with the car in race trim and we were able make the car work in traffic. We had a good car in last year's race and I think we can get there again even with the hotter conditions."

Sunday's ABC Supply Company / AJ Foyt 225 will be seen live on ESPN beginning at 2:30 pm Eastern on Sunday afternoon.

-rlr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Rice , Danica Patrick , Vitor Meira