West Allis, Wis., (June 1, 2001) -- Grant Ryley (Worldspeed Motorsports/Northwest Speedwerx Swift) who had suffered through a run of bad luck during the first two events of the season, redeemed himself by grabbing the pole for Saturday's Round 3...
West Allis, Wis., (June 1, 2001) -- Grant Ryley (Worldspeed Motorsports/Northwest Speedwerx Swift) who had suffered through a run of bad luck during the first two events of the season, redeemed himself by grabbing the pole for Saturday's Round 3 race of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship at the Milwaukee Mile. Not only did Ryley get the pole but shattered Daniel Wheldon's 2000 record by over one mph. with a speed of 148.834 mph (24.962 seconds).
"Mike Doyle, my engineer made a good change on the car," said the pleased first year driver from San Jose, California. "He put his magic fingers on the car and that did something to it. After that, the car was just flying. It was all about just going out and having the confidence in the car to go around flat. I just can't say enough about my team. We have a great oval setup. I think we have a very good race car as well as a good qualifying car."
Hoover Orsi (Hylton Motorsports/U.S. Print Swift) and Tony Ave (P-1 Racing/Miller Genuine Draft Swift) both took shots to knock Ryley off the pole. Both drivers, who are the top 2 in championship points, eclipsed the track record as well but could not wrestle it away from Ryley. Orsi keeps his narrow one-point lead with 32 points with Ave right behind at 31 points.
Orsi, who now has two second place qualifying efforts to go along with his two runner-up finishes, is ready to break that trend in the race. "The car was running well in this afternoon's practice. We didn't change anything on the car for qualifying. I was doing well in qualifying but I think I know what happened, and we'll work on it. We have a very good car for the race. It's going to be tough because the other guys have very good cars as well."
Ave agrees that the competition has been tough this weekend after coming off the win at Nazareth. "This morning, we knew Martin Basso and Grant Ryley were fast. Right now, it's great to be third, but my car is just too easy to drive, so that's something we need to solve. Ave continued. "These guys are not going to have a problem going that fast, and I was flat out from leaving the pits. We're going to have to try and trick it up a little. I also know how to drive for points. I've won Championships before, but I really want to win tomorrow, so we really need to tune that thing up." Martin Basso (Michael Shank Racing/3b Engine Valves Swift) was unable to qualify when his car was destroyed in the final minutes of practice earlier in the afternoon. Basso was not injured in the incident and was cleared by CART Medical shortly after the session was over. The team is looking into options to get Basso in the race on Saturday afternoon. "I just lost the car at the exit of Turn 2," said the Argentine driver. "I made contact with the wall and then Macri crashed into the wall and into me." Basso had just run the second fastest lap overall in practice before the incident.
Gormley, Ontario's Jonathan Macri (P-1 Racing/NTN Bearings Swift) was also unable to qualify due to the damage the car sustained. "I was half way through turn 1, when I got the message over the radio that Basso was in the wall," quoted the rookie driver. "I tried to feather the throttle to slow down the car, but Basso was right there and I had nowhere to go. I just couldn't avoid him. The car is very damaged and won't be ready for qualifying. We're hoping to have it ready for the race tomorrow."
Long Beach winner and third place in Championship points, David Rutledge (Lynx Racing Swift) continues to struggle to find the speed on the ovals. Although Rutledge will line up fifth for tomorrow's race, the team will have an uphill battle to catch the leaders although they appear to be closer than they were last race at Nazareth.
Tomorrow's 65-lap event will start at 3:15 p.m. EST as the weekend's opening race of the Miller Lite 225 at the Milwaukee Mile. The race will be preceded by a 15-minute warm-up session starting at 8:55 a.m. EST. The weather forecast calls for morning showers with a chance of clearing skies as the day progresses.
ESPN2 and ESPN International will broadcast Sunday's Round 3 race from Milwaukee on Sunday, June 10, at 6:00 p.m. ET, while Atlantic fans in Canada can watch the race on CTV SportsNet on Tuesday, June 12, at 7:00 p.m. in the East and Ontario time zones, 7:00 p.m. in the Pacific, and June 13, at 9:00 p.m. in the West Zone. CTV repeat dates are: EAST, Thursday, June 14, 2:00 p.m., ONTARIO, Wednesday, June 13, 5:00 p.m., Saturday, June 16, 7:00 p.m., Monday, June 18, 2:30 p.m., PACIFIC, Friday, June 15, 4:30 p.m., Saturday, June 16, 3:00 p.m., and WEST, June 17, 10:00 a.m. ESPN2 will replay the race on Tuesday, June 12, at 3:30 a.m. ET.