Kansas: Vision Racing qualifying report

VISION RACING QUALIFIES IN TOP 10 ON FIRST OVAL OF THE SEASON KANSAS CITY, Kansas (April 25, 2009)- Vision Racing drivers Ed Carpenter and Ryan Hunter-Reay and will start from the 10th and 19th positions, respectively, Sunday afternoon on the...

VISION RACING QUALIFIES IN TOP 10 ON FIRST OVAL OF THE SEASON

KANSAS CITY, Kansas (April 25, 2009)- Vision Racing drivers Ed Carpenter and Ryan Hunter-Reay and will start from the 10th and 19th positions, respectively, Sunday afternoon on the 1.5-mile of Kansas Speedway for the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300, the first oval race of the 2009 IndyCar Series season.

After qualifying first in line, Carpenter drove the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Honda powered Dallara to a four lap average speed of 208.956 mph to put himself on the outside of the fifth row on the grid.

Carpenter scored his best finish at Kansas last year when he finished 10th in his fifth attempt at the track. Carpenter had started sixth and drove as high as third in the race. He was running in fourth when he went to pit on lap 152, when competitor E.J. Viso mistakenly pitted in Carpenter's pit box while Carpenter was approaching. Subsequently, Carpenter overshot his pits and had to be pushed back for fuel only. At the same time, the caution flag came out for a crash on track.

Carpenter first raced the 1.5-mile oval at Kansas in 2004 where he started in the 16th spot and finished in 14th with Cheever Racing; in 2005 with Vision Racing he started from the 18th position and finished 17th, while in 2006 he started and finished from the 16th spot. At the 2007 Kansas event, Carpenter did not finish the race for the first time after starting 13th and was running in fifth when while attempting to pass lapped traffic, got high on the race track and had contact with the wall. He was credited with a 17th place finish.

Hunter-Reay was only able to put together a four lap average speed of 205.673 mph in the No. 21 Vision Racing Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine which put him on the inside of the 10th row on the Kansas grid.

Hunter-Reay will be making just his second start at Kansas Speedway. His first came last season with Rahal Letterman Racing when he started 12th and finished 18th. He is currently fifth in the 2009 IndyCar Series Championship point standings.

Pole winner Graham Rahal will have his Newman-Haas-Lanigan teammate Robert Dournboos starting next to him on the grid with Danica Patrick rounds out the top three in qualifying. Dario Franchitti and Helio Castroneves have been sent to the rear of the for dropping below the white line during qualifying while E.J. Viso's car will start behind them for failing technical inspection.

The IndyCar Series will hold a morning warm-up practice session Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. CT.

Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"With just one practice before qualifying we went pretty aggressive and overdid it a little bit for qualifying with the wind anyways. The car was really good through Turn 1 and 2 but there was too much understeer going through Turn 3 and 4. It's too bad because I think we could easily have run in the 210 mph range with some changes. Today definitely wasn't the day to be going out first but that's the luck of the draw. We missed a little on set up so I'm not terribly happy with how qualifying went but I'm looking forward to race day. I know we'll make our way up to the front with the No.20 Menards car. We always have a good race car. I'm more worried about the weather (possibility of rain on race day)"

Ryan Hunter-Reay - No. 21 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"That was a pretty frustrating qualifying effort but we know what the issue is now and what we will have is a pretty good race car for Sunday. This is just my second time here at Kansas but I'm fairly confident that it doesn't matter where anyone starts the race, it won't finish in the same order."

-credit: vr

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