IRL: Richmond: AGR, Herta qualifying report

Richmond , Virginia (June 25, 2004) - XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta earned the seventh starting position for Saturday night's Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series SunTrust Indy Challenge with a lap of 170.182 miles per hour around...

Richmond , Virginia (June 25, 2004) - XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta earned the seventh starting position for Saturday night's Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series SunTrust Indy Challenge with a lap of 170.182 miles per hour around Richmond International Raceway.

Herta, making his second start at the three quarter-mile bullring on the Virginia State Fairgrounds, saw little track time during practice as persistent showers cancelled one session and delayed another. Once qualifying began Herta knew he had a good car and improved on his practice speed by nearly three miles per hour to earn his starting spot on the inside of the fourth row.

Helio Castroneves won the pole for tomorrow night's race with a speed of 171.081 miles per hour. Starting alongside of him will be 2004 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Rice who set the second fastest speed at 170.782 miles per hour. Rookie Mark Taylor earned his best start of the year with a third quickest effort. Taylor turned a lap at 170.683 miles per hour.

The SunTrust Indy Challenge, Round 6 of the IndyCar Series schedule, will start Saturday at 7:55 p.m. (EDT). ESPN2 will air the 250-lap event live with coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. (EDT).

Bryan Herta, Driver, #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"You always come out of qualifying thinking, 'man just one more adjustment here and make it a little bit different there and we'd be a lot better.' But that was the best we had run in the XM Satellite Radio car and I'm pretty happy. I can't believe how fast this track is. You put so much steering input into the car, you can't believe you can make all the way through the corner. Richmond has done a really great job improving the track. They added the SAFER Barrier, and the surface is a lot nicer for us. Last year it was so bumpy it was giving us fits at times and this year it is very smooth. It's a fun place to come and race now."

George Klotz, Team Manager, #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"Bryan did a really great job in qualifying. He gave us the lap we needed when it counted. Now we need to make sure we can keep a good balance on the XM Satellite Radio car so we can stay near the front until end of the race."

-AGR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Mark Taylor , Helio Castroneves , Bryan Herta , Buddy Rice