Chicagoland: RLR/Andersen Racing qualifying notes

RLR/Andersen's Herrington Qualifies Fifth While Hildebrand Will Start 19th Sunday at Chicagoland JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 6 - In preparation for the Firestone Indy Lights season finale at Chicagoland Speedway that will be televised live on ESPN2 ...

RLR/Andersen's Herrington Qualifies Fifth While Hildebrand Will Start 19th Sunday at Chicagoland

JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 6 - In preparation for the Firestone Indy Lights season finale at Chicagoland Speedway that will be televised live on ESPN2 tomorrow at noon Eastern time, RLR/Andersen Racing's Daniel Herrington and J.R. Hildebrand qualified fifth and 19th, respectively, Saturday afternoon on the 1.52-mile trioval.

Tomorrow's 67-lap/100-mile race, called the SunRichGourmet.com 100, is slated to start at 11 a.m. Central time Sunday, 30 minutes earlier than originally scheduled. It supports the sold-out PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 IndyCar Series season finale, which will be broadcast live on ABC at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Each of the 24 drivers' combined time in two laps under the clock determined his or her qualifying time in SWE Qualifying. Herrington went out ninth and recorded two laps in 28.9764 and 29.0376 for a combined time of 58.0140 and an average speed of 188.644 miles per hour to nail down fifth place with the Andersen Racing No. 5 Dallara. He'll start on the inside of Row 3 beside James Davison.

Hildebrand had a disappointing qualifying result with the Allied Building Products No. 25. Although he was sixth in both practice sessions, he ended up 19th in qualifying with two laps in 29.3230 and 29.3493 for a combined time of 58.6723 (186.528 mph). The team was hard at work at press time trying to determine the cause of the problem and then fix it before Hildebrand lines up on the inside of Row 10 beside Brandon Wagner for the start of Sunday's race.

Both Hildebrand, of Sausalito, Calif., and Herrington, of Winston-Salem, N.C., are making their first starts here. Hildebrand is just eight points out of third place in the championship, but the driver who holds that position going into the season finale, Ana Beatriz, qualified second. The championship is between the polesitter, Raphael Matos (28.7183 and 28.8060 for a combined time of 57.5243 or 190.250 mph), and Richard Antinucci, who will start ninth.

Herrington is not running for the championship, as he's just competing in half of the 16 races being held this year.

Qualifying was held under partly cloudy conditions, a temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit and an 8 mph breeze from the west-southwest.

Daniel Herrington: "So far, so good. I've never been here before, and Kentucky was my first oval-track Firestone Indy Lights race. The only oval I did before that was Milwaukee in Star Mazda.

"We've been improving all the time. This track is quite a bit different than Kentucky. The transitions in the turns are easier. Qualifying was pretty easy too. At Kentucky I had to acclimate myself a lot. I did a bunch of side-by-side action in practice this morning to get used to this. It scared my team, but it'll help tomorrow in the race.

"The breeze wasn't really a factor. I thought it would affect me more than it did, but with the direction it was blowing it was OK.

"I was on the limiter a bit going into Turn 1, but other than that everything was good."

J.R. Hildebrand: "Something is wrong, but I have no idea what. The car felt fine; it was just too slow. We'll have to examine it and try to find out what's wrong. Right now I have no idea what it could be, but something is definitely wrong."

-credit: rlr/ar

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Richard Antinucci , Daniel Herrington , Brandon Wagner , J.R. Hildebrand , Ana Beatriz