Marco Andretti captured his fourth career pole today obliterating the track record and Ryan Hunter-Reay will start from the second position.
Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet
RC Cola driver Marco Andretti captured his fourth career pole today and will become the third Andretti to start an Indy car race from the pole at the 2.5-mile "Tricky Triangle" (Michael/1986, Mario/1987). Andretti obliterated the track record of 211.715 mph set by Emerson Fittipaldi in 1989, with a two-lap average speed of 221.273 mph in the No. 25 Chevrolet.
"The past hour and a half has been long. It's just an unbelievable team performance across the board. E.J. (Viso) would have been right there with us, so I feel for him as well. But definitely happy for the RC Cola guys and Andretti Autosport as a whole. We've been making statement after statement so it's a good feeling.
"I think it's going to play out a little bit like Indy, I think there's going to be a lot of passing, contrary to what people are saying, and I think it's going to be a lot of 'right place in the right time,' so hopefully we're on the better end of that luck."
Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 1 DHL Chevrolet
ESPY's "Best Driver" nominee Ryan Hunter-Reay will start from the second position tomorrow for the Pocono INDYCAR 400. The reigning series champion is only nine points out of the lead in defense of his 2012 title.
"It was a great one for Andretti Autosport. It's 400 miles. We got quailing out of the way. It's going to be a long race. We have to go against Penske, Ganassi and, of course, a big challenge from teammates. After that we got going, we get to racing."
About teamwork... "We meet as a team. Andretti Autosport is really open that way. We go over everything from every session and what we're going to do the next session. We're constantly talking as a group about what we can do better. Each driver likes something different in a race car, and that's where we go our own way."
About Turn 1... "(Alex) Tagliani crashed because he understeered into the gray. (E.J.) Viso got loose early in the corner. This place is tricky in general. This place is tough. It's more thinking. You have to be so on top of your race tools in the car. As the wind shifts and changes, and you get into one car, two cars in traffic, the place is always changing.
When you're running, you're changing gears. It's a busy lap here. Short of Milwaukee, it's the busiest lap. You're moving things around, trying to keep up with the balance of the car."
James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet
Canadian native James Hinchcliffe will start from the outside of the front row for tomorrow's 400-mile race at Pocono Raceway. Hinchcliffe's qualifying effort in the GoDaddy Chevy posted a two-lap average of 220.431 mph.
"The GoDaddy car ran pretty well. We haven't been this strongest in practice and Marco (Andretti) has been the class of the field -- we knew it would be tough to beat that, so we just wanted to try to stay in contention. We got some useful tips from him after his run, just teammates working together. I had a little bit of a moment in Turn 1 -- it got a little loose on me battling at either end of the race track; the wind conditions running this light on downforce doesn't help. But, solid performance."
E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet
Recording a lap to put him in P4 behind his three Andretti Autosport teammates, E.J. Viso got loose going into Turn 1 during his second qualifying lap and made contact with the wall. The IZOD IndyCar Series veteran was checked by the medical team and has been cleared to compete in tomorrow's Pocono INDYCAR 400.
"I was heading into my second qualifying lap, and I just lost it in the middle of Turn 1 to the point I caught it for a second. I stepped out again and couldn't do much. It (Pocono Raceway) is much trickier than we anticipated. The testing we had here a few weeks ago, and again two days ago, it really helped us. This accident is really unfortunate as I believed we could have been 1-2-3-4."