Mid-field start for Andretti Autosport at Sonoma

  • Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified seventh for tomorrow's GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. In two of his three victories this year, Hunter-Reay also qualified seventh at Iowa and Toronto (though he moved to sixth in the starting lineup there due to penalties to another car). Hunter-Reay is second in the IndyCar championship standings with three races to go. Will Power has a six-point lead after earning a point today for the pole position.
  • Hinchcliffe qualified 10th for tomorrow's running of the GoPro Indy Grand Prix at the racetrack in Sonoma. He is currently ranked fifth in the championship points standings.
  • Saavedra will make his second IZOD IndyCar Series start of the season tomorrow. Saavedra qualified 13th, but will serve a 10-spot penalty on the starting grid due to an engine change at his previous start in the Indianapolis 500 in the AFS-backed No. 17 car.
  • Andretti qualified 14th for tomorrow's 85-lap race. He was seventh-quickest in group B of the first round of qualifying, narrowly missing the cut to move into the next round.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet, No. 28

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Andretti Autosport Chevrolet

Photo by: Jeff Davidson

"Two of our wins came when we qualified seventh, so we know we can do it from there, but it's still frustrating to miss the (Firestone) Fast Six. We had five laps of fuel in the car, but we had trouble with the starter on pit lane, so that meant we only had time for four laps in that session.

We missed sixth by a few hundreths (of a second), so that fuel level would have made the difference in the lap time. Historically this has not been one of our best tracks, and considering how we struggled yesterday, we shouldn't be bummed by seventh.

We have a lot of sponsors here with us here this weekend for Andretti Autosport, and we really want to do a good job for DHL and Sun Drop and all of the sponsors that make a difference for us."

James Hinchcliffe, Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, No. 27 "I have to thank my guys - these guys have been slaving away trying to make this buggy quicker. We struggled in the test and we've struggled here all weekend. The gap to the front guys is just mystifying - even to be in the top 10 and be a second off the pace is just so weird.

For us, given the weekend that we've had, a starting position inside the top 10 I guess is not terrible, but you know you're never happy with that. We looked at the data and there was just something so silly in there that cost us about three-tenths of a second that would have put us behind Ryan (Hunter-Reay), up a couple more spots, and on a track where it's so hard to pass, every spot counts.

We'll see how tomorrow plays out, strategy will come into it. It's a pretty good three (pit) stop race now so we'll see how these Go Daddy guys call the race for us."

Sebastian Saavedra, Team AFS Racing Chevrolet, No. 17 "We have been able to do a great job so far. I thank the whole No. 17 AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport crew. It is really nice to be back in an Indy car. I am surrounded by a great team and have great teammates that I'm able to work with.

We missed the Round Two window by a very close margin. We were really pushing to get in that qualifying session. It is also unfortunate that we will have the ten-position grid penalty tomorrow. However, we will keep focused during the race and see what plays out."

Marco Andretti, Team RC Cola Chevrolet, No. 26 " We had a good lap going, but I got blocked in the last turn. We just had a drivers meeting where they said the driver would be penalized for doing something like that, but it didn't happen. We've had top-ten pace all weekend, so I think we can move forward in the race.

The positive thing about missing the second qualifying session is that we have an extra set of (Firestone) Reds for the race, which could be a big advantage. The race is 10 laps longer this year, so that means three (pit) stops, and we can be more strategic about the race tomorrow."

Source: Andretti Autosport

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About this article
Series INDYCAR
Article type Qualifying report
Tags andretti, chevrolet, hinchcliffe, hunter-reay, indycar, saavedra, sonoma