Sonoma: Series qualifying notes

SONOMA, Calif. (Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009) - AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing teammates J.R. Hildebrand and Sebastian Saavedra will share the front row for the Carneros 100 at Infineon Raceway. *** FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-QUALIFYING...

SONOMA, Calif. (Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009) - AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing teammates J.R. Hildebrand and Sebastian Saavedra will share the front row for the Carneros 100 at Infineon Raceway.

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FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-QUALIFYING NOTES:

* This is J.R. Hildebrand's fifth pole of the season and the fifth of his Firestone Indy Lights career.

* Sebastian Saavedra qualified second, it is his seventh front row start this season.

* AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing swept the front row for the second time of the season. It also started 1-2 at Kentucky, when the grid was sent by points.

* Ana Beatriz matched her season-best qualifying performance of third. It is her best road/street qualifying this season.

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FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES:

J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 26 ARPRO, Carneros 100 polesitter): "I'm excited about this one. It was a big lap to get that time. It's great to come back to Northern California and getting off to a great start on my home track. A good finish tomorrow may go a long way to getting the championship. I'm really excited that Sebastian (Saavedra) was able to secure second spot. It gives AFS/AGR the front row."

(How many laps around here do you have?) "Too many. We run a different layout than what I'm used to, but it's still the same track. I'm really happy to win the pole here."

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, qualified second): "I'm very happy. The team did a great job getting the car repaired after the crash this morning. It's also our (team's) first official front row starting (sweep). I'm very happy for J.R. It's great to have him by my side. Now it's about teamwork for tomorrow's race. We have a very competitive car. We showed that and now it's time to bring it home."

ANA BEATRIZ (No. 20 Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, qualified third): "This is a great result for the Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt team. With that said, to be just two hundredths off of second position is a little frustrating. Still, this is a really great result for the entire team. We have a great race car, and I'm looking forward to a competitive race."

FELIPE GUIMARAES: (No. 29 Bryan Herta Autosport, qualified fourth): "This has been my best qualifying effort yet in Firestone Indy Lights. Bryan Herta Autosport prepared a good car for me. It was difficult to post a faster time with all the traffic but I'm quite happy with the effort. It will be very difficult to overtake on this track but I'm going to try to put a lot of pressure on those in front and wait for them to make a mistake. We'll try to improve the car a bit more in morning practice but right now I'm pretty happy."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 7 Hinchtown.com/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, qualified fifth): "I am a little bit disappointed. We certainly felt like we had a car capable of the first two rows and looking back on it, I think my engineer and I got a little carried away on the setup and made a change in the wrong direction. The yellow flags were tough and the traffic was tough today, but we think we'll have a strong car for the race."

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The 2009 IndyCar Series season continues Aug. 23 with the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5 p.m. (EDT) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Carneros 100 on Aug. 23 at Infineon Raceway. The race will be telecast at 4 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 24 by VERSUS.

-credit: irl

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