Milwaukee: RLR/Andersen Racing qualifying notes

RLR/Andersen Racing Qualifies Sixth and 14th At Milwaukee Saturday MILWAUKEE - RLR/Andersen Racing's Andrew Prendeville ran his fastest laps of the day in SWE Pole Qualifying Saturday afternoon at the Milwaukee Mile to earn the sixth starting...

RLR/Andersen Racing Qualifies Sixth and 14th At Milwaukee Saturday

MILWAUKEE - RLR/Andersen Racing's Andrew Prendeville ran his fastest laps of the day in SWE Pole Qualifying Saturday afternoon at the Milwaukee Mile to earn the sixth starting spot for tomorrow's Milwaukee 100 Firestone Indy Lights race.

Driving the Best Friends Animal Society No. 5, the Las Vegas-based driver recorded laps in 25.5555 seconds and 25.3905 seconds for the 1.015-mile oval as the first of 19 drivers out in the qualifying session. With a combined time of 50.9460 seconds (143.446 miles per hour), the Chatham Township, N.J. native will start on the outside of Row 3 beside Arie Luyendyk Jr. when the 100-lap race gets the green flag at 11:30 a.m. Central time Sunday. A total of 22 drivers are expected to start tomorrow's race.

Prendeville's teammate, Sausalito, Calif.'s J.R. Hildebrand, crashed 24 minutes into the first practice session Saturday morning, making contact with the SAFER barrier in Turn 2. Luckily Hildebrand wasn't hurt, but his Allied Building Products No. 25 suffered heavy damage to its left rear in the crash, which occurred at 8:39 a.m. (Prendeville was first and Hildebrand was second in that session before Hildebrand's crash, and they ended up third and fourth for that session, respectively.)

The Palmetto, Fla.-based team immediately got to work on Hildebrand's No. 25, and heroically had the car back on the track at 12:15 p.m. in time to do a few laps before the second practice session ended.

According to RLR/Andersen co-owner John Andersen, the team changed the Dallara's rear wing; replaced its left-rear suspension, including the drive shaft; replaced the left sidepod; replaced the left-front suspension; and replaced other assorted parts, including the oil cooler and the rear attenuator, in about three hours and 36 minutes.

Hildebrand was still exploring the repaired car's characteristics during qualifying, and he ended up 14th on the grid for tomorrow's race, beside Jonny Reid. His combined two-lap time in quals was 52.0577 for an average speed of 140.383 mph.

The pole went to an ex-Andersen Racing Star Mazda driver, Pablo Donoso. His fastest lap was a 25.0721, well off Wade Cunningham's track qualifying record of 24.7254 seconds set in July 2006.

Qualifying was held during sunny conditions but with a stiff west-northwest breeze of 15-17 miles per hour.

Live coverage of tomorrow's race will be offered on-line at indycar.com/indylights. The race will be broadcast at 1 p.m. Eastern time June 5 on ESPN2.

Andersen Racing strives to provide the best training possible for future open-wheel stars. In addition to the Firestone Indy Lights series, it fields multiple entries in the F2000 Championship Series and the Star Mazda series presented by Goodyear. One of its F2000 drivers, Doug Prendeville, Andrew's brother, is on hand here at Milwaukee, as is one of its Star Mazda drivers, Peter Dempsey. The team, which is sponsored by Allied Building Products Corp., is the development team of IndyCar's Rahal Letterman Racing. Its Web sites are at andersenracingteam.com and andersenracepark.com.

Prendeville has a unique program to raise funds for the Best Friends Animal Society based on the number of laps he completes in his races through a Web site at racinglapsforbestfriends.com.

In addition to Allied Interior Products, Hildebrand represents Mockett.com, Formotion Products, Inc., Spy and Santa Cruz Bicycles. His Web site is at jrhildebrandracing.com.

Post-qualifying quotes follow:

Andrew Prendeville: "Qualifying went well. The RLR/Andersen guys did a good job with the Best Friends Animal Society car.

"I was the first one out.  It's the fastest we've run here so far, so I'm
pleased.  I think we have a good car for the race tomorrow.
"It was pretty windy.  It gets your attention in Turn 2, but it's pretty
random.  That's the same for everybody though."

J.R. Hildebrand: "I got a few laps in during the second practice session, but I really didn't know what I'd be dealing with during qualifying because those were really the first fast laps we'd done since the crash this morning. The set-up wasn't where we need it to be and there is definitely some left, but I want to thank all the RLR/Andersen guys for their hard work to get the car ready after the crash. They worked really hard, and we'll continue to work hard to get it back to the way it was before the crash. I really want to give a big thank you to the guys on the team for doing such a great job to get it back together.

"It's a long race. I'm going to have to avoid getting in an accident, and see what I can do.

"The wind didn't affect it too badly.

"I could stand to have some more laps under my belt, but we'll get it together. We've had good race cars all year long."

-credit: rlr/ar

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Andrew Prendeville , Doug Prendeville , Pablo Donoso , Wade Cunningham , J.R. Hildebrand , Arie Luyendyk Jr.