Kansas: Series Saturday practice notes

KANSAS CITY, Kan., Saturday, April 26, 2008 - AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing teammates Raphael Matos and Arie Luyendyk Jr. topped the practice times in preparation for tomorrow's Kansas Lottery 100. SWE Pole Qualifying will take place Sunday ...

KANSAS CITY, Kan., Saturday, April 26, 2008 - AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing teammates Raphael Matos and Arie Luyendyk Jr. topped the practice times in preparation for tomorrow's Kansas Lottery 100. SWE Pole Qualifying will take place Sunday morning prior to the race.

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Robbie Pecorari is driving a third car for Guthrie Racing this weekend after driving the doubleheader at St. Petersburg with Michael Crawford Motorsports. Along with Sean Guthrie and Logan Gomez, it gives Guthrie Racing a lineup of three young American drivers.

ROBBIE PECORARI (No. 55 Guthrie Racing): "After years of racing against the boys at Guthrie Racing, I was finally able to put something together with the team. Over the past year, the team has proved they have really fast cars for the ovals and it should be a great event for us."

(About racing with teammates Sean Guthrie and Logan Gomez): "I used to race with Sean back in Star Mazda in 2005. I got to know Logan and Sean last year in the series. I was basically on my own last year, and it'll be nice to have skilled teammates like Logan and Sean to be able to work off each other and collectively gain speed throughout the weekend."

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Several Firestone Indy Lights teams took advantage of the break between St. Petersburg and Kansas to update the look of their cars. Panther Racing's No. 15 car driven by Dillon Battistini now features more orange, while its No. 16 car driven by Brent Sherman now features a red, white and blue paint scheme similar to the team's IndyCar Series entry driven by Vitor Meira. The No. 23 Guthrie Racing car of Logan Gomez is now painted day-glow yellow similar to the color on Ed Carpenter's No. 20 IndyCar Series car. Both cars are sponsored by Menards.

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FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-PRACTICE QUOTES:

RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc.): "It was a good day. We were able to work on qualifying runs and race setup. I think we still need to find more speed for qualifying, but we have certainly made a lot of improvements from the last oval race at Homestead. I'm pretty happy, and Arie (Luyendyk Jr.) is right up there with me, so that means we have a consistent car. We'll see what happens tomorrow."

ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 26 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc.): "It's been a difficult day for us, even though we're at the top of the charts. We still have a lot of work to do on the cars. At Homestead, we found we had big understeer in the cars. We came here fairly aggressive and we're pretty loose out there. It's difficult to drive, but it's fast. Hopefully we can sort it out and get a good balance for the race."

ANA BEATRIZ (No. 20 Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt Mtrspts): "I was P1 in the morning and the car felt very good. We didn't get a lot of clean track in the afternoon, but I think we can qualify well for the race."

J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 25 Allied Building Products): "We never got a really good tow lap that time with the Allied Building Products car. I was either behind the fastest pack or just ahead of it. I didn't want to slow up too much to try to drop in with them though, because I didn't want to cause an accident. We made some changes to the car before this session. The car seems really good on its own, and we're still good in the draft. I think we have a pretty good race car for tomorrow."

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The Firestone Indy Lights will qualify and race on the same day for the first time since Milwaukee in 2007. The experience, though, is new to some drivers.

ANA BEATRIZ (No. 20 Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt Mtrspts): "I don't think I've ever done that in a race car. Maybe when I raced go-karts in Brazil."

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SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):
9-10 a.m. SWE Pole Qualifying
12:15 p.m. Kansas Lottery 100 (67 laps/100 miles)

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The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 on April 27 at Kansas Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5 p.m. (EDT) by ESPN2. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues April 27 at Kansas. The race will be telecast at 2 p.m. (EDT) on May 1 by ESPN2.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Brent Sherman , Robbie Pecorari , Logan Gomez , Sean Guthrie , Dillon Battistini , Ed Carpenter , Vitor Meira , Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Teams Panther Racing