KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S MARIO MORAES QUALIFIES INDYCAR CAREER HIGH SIXTH FOR THE ROAD RUNNER TURBO INDY 300
KANSAS CITY, KS -- APRIL 25, 2009 -- Round #3, 2009 IndyCar Series season -- KV Racing Technology's Mario Moraes qualified an IndyCar career high sixth today for the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas.
Moraes, #5 KV Racing Technology - Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone, making his second appearance, but actually qualifying for the first time, on the 1.5-mile tri-oval posted a four-lap average of 210.197 mph. He will grid on the outside of Row #3.
"I think the KV Racing Technology -- Votorantim team did a great job," Moraes said. "This is my best IndyCar career qualifying position, so I am very happy. The KVRT engineers made the right decision about changing the setup of the car, they did a great job and the crew did an outstanding job preparing the car. Last year I wasn't able to qualify because my wheel nut came loose in practice and I had to start the race from the back. This year however, I am in a much better position and I look forward to the race tomorrow."
Moraes was 15th on the speed charts following the morning practice with a speed of 209.877 mph. For qualifying he went out 19th of the 22 cars and logged four incredibly consistent laps. All four were his quickest of the day with the fastest and slowest laps separated by just .089 mph.
Last year, in just his second career oval event, Moraes started 27th because of the wheel nut incident and despite just six laps of track time, drove a solid race to finish 17th.
Today's sixth place qualifying position surpasses Moraes' previous high of 10th on the street circuit in Edmonton last year. It easily exceeds his previous oval best qualifying effort of 20th at Nashville and Richmond, also in 2008, and improves on a season high 13th place starting spot last weekend in Long Beach.
Moraes, 20, the second youngest driver in the IndyCar series, is in his second season and first with KVRT. The native of Brazil will be making his 19th career IndyCar start, third with KVRT and 11th on an oval. In 10 previous oval races, Moraes has a best finish of 10th (Nashville), one of his three IndyCar career top-10 showings (Watkins Glen - career-high seventh; Infineon Raceway - 10th). This is the best starting position for KVRT in three attempts (two races) at Kansas. Last year Will Power qualified 18th. The team's best finish is 11th by Oriol Servia also in 2008.