Milwaukee: Series qualifying notes

WEST ALLIS, Wis. - Rookie Pablo Donoso claimed the SWE Pole Award for the Firestone Indy Lights Milwaukee 100. Bobby Wilson, who hails from Oconomowoc, Wis., will start from the second position. *** Beginning this weekend at The Milwaukee...

WEST ALLIS, Wis. - Rookie Pablo Donoso claimed the SWE Pole Award for the Firestone Indy Lights Milwaukee 100. Bobby Wilson, who hails from Oconomowoc, Wis., will start from the second position.

***

Beginning this weekend at The Milwaukee Mile, Firestone Racing will switch from traditional lead wheel weights to the 3M(tm) Wheel Weight System for all of its operations.

The 3M Wheel Weight System is constructed of a non-lead composite material for reduced environmental impact and corrosion-free results. Unlike traditional metal weights, the 3M material is flexible and can be custom cut to weight so wheels are precision balanced for increased performance and a better ride.

The wheel weights are attached using 3M(tm) Automotive Attachment Tape, a known and trusted technology that 3M has been providing to the industry for decades, which provides reliable, long-term performance for the 3M wheel weight system.

AL SPEYER (Executive Director, Bridgestone Firestone Motorsports):

"This change to non-lead wheel weights is just one of many efforts to protect and conserve our environment under Bridgestone's global 'One Team, One Planet' program.' As a very visible part of Bridgestone Americas and Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC, Firestone Racing has been looking at ways we can be more ecologically sensitive, and the 3M Wheel Weight System provides us with the perfect opportunity to put our company's principles into action. When it comes to protecting the environment, we're all in this together."

***

For animal lovers, tomorrow's Firestone Indy Lights race at the Milwaukee Mile and a similar event June 21 at Iowa Speedway are the biggest races of the year.

That's because they have the potential to bring in the most donations to one of the largest animal welfare concerns in the world, the not-for-profit Best Friends Animal Society, through Andrew Prendeville's Racing Laps for Best Friends program.

Through a Web site at racinglapsforbestfriends.com, fans can make donations to Best Friends in any monetary amount from 25 cents and up based on the number of laps Prendeville completes in any or all of the Firestone Indy Lights races this year. The tax-deductible donations go entirely to Best Friends.

Sunday's Firestone Indy Lights Milwaukee 100 and the June 21 race in Iowa have the largest lap count of any races on the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights schedule. Tomorrow's race at Milwaukee is slated for 100 laps, while the distance at Iowa will be 115 laps.

***

Firestone Indy Lights team owner team owner Michael Crawford is racing at his home track this weekend. Crawford, who owns the No. 8 car driven by Mark Olson, grew up in the Milwaukee suburb of Mequon, Wis., and he attended many races at the track with his dad. MICHAEL CRAWFORD: "This is the track I begged my dad to take me to when I was 11 years old."

***

Firestone Indy Lights team owner Brian Stewart will miss his first race since 2000 due to another commitment to his second love, golf.

Stewart will travel to Purchase, N.Y. on June 1 where he will caddy for Canadian golfer Dan Payton during U.S. Open Sectional qualifying at Old Oaks Country Club in on June 2.

BRIAN STEWART: "The last race I missed was 2000 at Portland when my daughter got married. I will be here for practice and qualifying, so I'm not missing the whole weekend like I did then, but it's 900 miles to New York, so I have to leave early."

***

SWE POLE QUALIFYING NOTES:

- This is the first pole for Pablo Donoso and the first for Team Moore Racing. Donoso' previous best start was 10th at Homestead-Miami. Team Moore's previous best start was second at Milwaukee last season with driver Jonathan Klein.

- Second is Bobby Wilson's best starting position of the season and his best qualifying effort since winning the pole at Watkins Glen in 2006. His best start this season was fourth at St. Petersburg 1.

- Jeff Simmons qualified third, his best qualifying effort of the season. He qualified fifth at St. Petersburg 1.

- James Davison qualified fourth, his second consecutive top-four qualifying effort. He started second at Indianapolis.

***

FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES:

PABLO DONOSO (No 22 TMR-Cristal-Xtreme Coil Drilling, qualified first):

"The team did a really good job today. We have a great car, and as a driver, I did my best. I feel great. It's my first pole in the series, so I'm really happy for the team."

BOBBY WILSON (No. 17 Team E Patriot Bank, second):

"I'm excited to be here competing in front of friends and family. A lot of people are coming out to the track this weekend. It's been a parade of people through our pits today to see me so I want have a good showing, especially with the season we're having so far. The Team E guys have regrouped pretty well. We've had some bad results, but we've always been a contender. We need to get back up on top. We'll see how it goes and look for a good result. Hopefully stay out of trouble."

JEFF SIMMONS (No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling, third):

"We had pretty much the same setup (as Pablo Donoso). I think I just got the gear wrong on the second lap. I was amazed the first lap was so quick. All day we didn't have any times on the dash, so I was finally getting to see them. I was so sideways on the first lap that I didn't think it would be that quick, and I think cost myself on the second one."

MARK MOORE (Co-owner Team Moore Racing): "It is a very exciting day for us. Jeff had a fantastic out lap. I thought we would have a front row or Jeff would be on pole. They both did a good job and had a good test up here. We did our homework."

DILLON BATTISTINI (No. 15 AlexP, points leader):

"I am expecting a few caution periods tomorrow; hopefully I'll be able to pick off a few cars on the restarts. My car has been good since we tested here last month. What happened today is out of my control. We just have to make the most out of it. Anything can happen in auto racing."

(On coming from the back at St. Pete 2): "You can't really compare St. Pete since it is a street course. I've never come from the back on an oval. I am not sure how easy it will be to pass. I'll just rely on my racing experience. I have to make sure that I finish and minimize the damage to my points. It is a long championship and all the front runners will experience their ups and downs this season."

*** SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):

7 a.m. Garages open
11 a.m. Milwaukee 100 pre-race
11:30 a.m. Milwaukee 100 (100 laps/100 miles)
2 p.m. ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 pre-race
3 p.m. ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 (225 laps/225 miles)

***

The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 on June 1 at the Milwaukee Mile. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 4 p.m. (EDT) by ABC. 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 with the Milwaukee 100 at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) on June 1 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race will be telecast at 1 p.m. EDT June 5.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Andrew Prendeville , Jeff Simmons , Pablo Donoso , James Davison , Bobby Wilson , Jonathan Klein , Mark Olson , A.J. Foyt