Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing and Billy Boat Qualifying Notes, Friday, Sept. 18 Driving the No. 11 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Dallara-Aurora on Goodyear tires, Billy Boat earned the sixth PPG Pole Award of his Pep Boys IRL career today at Texas Motor ...
Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing and Billy Boat Qualifying Notes, Friday, Sept. 18
Driving the No. 11 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Dallara-Aurora on Goodyear tires, Billy Boat earned the sixth PPG Pole Award of his Pep Boys IRL career today at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his fifth PPG Pole this season, which is a record for poles in one IRL sea son. He also set an IRL record by earning three consecutive poles. In every race he qualified for this season, Billy has started from the front row (Phoenix-second; Indy-pole; Texas-second; New Hampshire-pole; Pikes Peak-pole; Atlanta-pole, Texas-pole) .
Billy Boat's pole-winning speed of 225.979 was the fastest ever in qualifying by a new-formula Indy Racing League car. The previous fastest was 224.448 mph by Tony Stewart at the True Value 500 in June 1998 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Billy Boat earned $20,000 and the PPG Pole Award for winning back-to-back poles. His chief mechanic, Craig Baranouski, earned $10,000, a trophy and a Tag Heuer watch as the True Value Pole Winning Chief Mechanic.
Billy earned the pole position with only one qualifying lap. On his second qualifying lap he slowed to approximately 157 mph due to transmission problems.
Billy Boat about qualifying: "We were out to lunch this morning in the first practice. We went back and changed almost everything then went out and ran a 226 (mph). I am constantly amazed at the wealth of A.J.'s knowledge." (Billy went out second in the qualifying order, he commented about having to waiting for the field to qualify): "We were sitting down there (in the pits) for what seemed like forever, waiting for those guys to qualify. There were a lot of fast guys there at the end and we knew i t was cooling off. It was agonizing."
A.J. Foyt about qualifying: "I'm quite sure that we would have run 226 and a half if we would have finished that second lap, but we'll never know because it never happened. Billy did a helluva job and I was very proud of him. (about the team's recent success): I am happy for the crew and happy for the drivers. I've had my fair share of glory through the years and I couldn't have had a better career. I wouldn't change my life if I fell over today dead. All and all, I'm just happy to see the young boys having fun. And I happy right along with them."