CHAMPCAR/CART: Las Vegas: RuSPORT Friday report

Although A.J. Allmendinger was unable to participate in last month's Champ Car open test, the 22 year-old rookie headed into his first super-speedway weekend with his usual determination and delivered his ninth top-ten qualifying result of the ...

Although A.J. Allmendinger was unable to participate in last month's Champ Car open test, the 22 year-old rookie headed into his first super-speedway weekend with his usual determination and delivered his ninth top-ten qualifying result of the season. A.J.'s first flyer clocked in at 26.363 and he improved his second green lap slightly to take 7th position with a time of 26.362. Although tomorrow's green flag will mark only the second oval race for A.J., he proved in Milwaukee that he can handle the challenge. Allmendinger captured his first top-five Champ Car finish at the Milwaukee Mile oval back in June.

A.J. Allmendinger

"I'm pretty happy with today's qualifying, all things considered. I didn't get to test here last month and this is my first super-speedway. Michel (Jourdain) did a great job getting the team prepped for this weekend during the test. He's a big reason we are where we are for today's qualifying. I'm definitely a lot more comfortable in the car on an oval after Milwaukee. I'm also a lot more confident in my ability to drive the ovals. The car is good, I think we maybe could've had a little less drag for qualifying, but for the race and at night, I don't know if that's what we want. So we're going to really focus on tonight's practice session to convert the #10 Western Union car into a great race car."

Jeremy Dale, Team President

"A.J. did a great job today. With his driving today, he makes it easy for us to forget that he's never been on a super-speedway and that he missed the test here last month. A P-7 is a very solid effort. Qualifying is definitely very different from racing here, but A.J. is ready and pretty excited for it tomorrow."

After holding the provisional pole for part of today's qualifying for Saturday night's Bridgestone 400, Michel Jourdain Jr. will start 5th. Jourdain Jr. improved from his morning practice time to deliver a 26.324- lap on his first flyer and a 26.349 on his second lap. Today's effort marks Jourdain's second consecutive top-five qualifying performance and fifth top- ten for the season in the #9 Gigante car. The last time Michel raced here at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he brought home a podium finish. As he takes the green flag and starts his milestone 150th Champ Car race, he hopes to continue his streak of oval podiums. Jourdain has finished in the top-three in the last three Champ Car oval events.

Michel Jourdain Jr.

"I'm pretty comfortable with the improvement we have made since the test here last month. The car is definitely much better, and I think we know where we still have areas we can tweak to be even better for tomorrow. The car needs to be good in traffic, so if we can make those adjustments tonight with the final practice session, I think the Gigante crew can look forward to a strong race. This is the second weekend in a row we're in the top-five in qualifying and I heard the odds are 10-1 that I will win. So if someone wants to make money, bet on me."

Jeremy Dale, Team President

"Michel and his guys did a great job today. They had struggled a bit with the car during the practice session earlier in the day, and by the end they had made it better but still needed to make some changes before going out to qualify. Michel came out and delivered a solid performance driving the car and gave us another top-five result. Now we're going to focus on where it really counts-for the race tomorrow. Michel has shown consistently he's a great oval racer and I think we can look forward to a good result from the #9 Gigante team."

-rusport-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers A.J. Allmendinger , Michel Jourdain