Bryan Herta spent his first day pinch-hitting for injured regular Tony Kanaan in the ...
Bryan Herta spent his first day pinch-hitting for injured regular Tony Kanaan in the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes-Benz Reynard working to get comfortable in the car and gradually bringing it up to speed. This morning's practice session was Herta's first time in the Hollywood/Mo Nunn team car. He replaced Kanaan, who sustained a broken left forearm and four cracked ribs in a qualifying session accident at Detroit last Saturday and will be out four to six weeks.
In this afternoon's 30-minute provisional qualifying session over the scenic 1.967-mile, Herta lost the first 10 minutes while the crew had to correct a glitch in the rear end of the car. He managed to record a fast lap of 1 minute, 01.322 seconds (an average of 115.593 mph), which placed him 22nd on the provisional grid. Gil de Ferran is on the provisional pole with a lap of 58.586 seconds (120.991 mph).
Practice resumes Saturday morning with final qualifying set for 1:45 p.m. local time (4:45 p.m. EDT). The qualifying show will air beginning at 5:30 p.m. EDT, Saturday. Race time is 2 p.m. local time (5 p.m. EDT) on Sunday.
"We knew what we got ourselves into, and we knew it's going to take a bit of time to get up to speed. The key is getting the car the way I like it, and we're just not there, yet. Naturally, you like to yourself at the top of the charts, and there will come a time, if all goes well, that we will be there. But we just have to work through the details of getting me comfortable in the car. We lost some time at the beginning of the qualifying session, which hurt us. Ever minute of track time is important in this situation. But we'll do our best and take it as it comes. This is a great group to work with."
"We've got quite a challenge this weekend, bringing Bryan up to speed in a car he's never driven before. Our challenge is to give him a car that he is comfortable with and we are slowly but surely chipping away at it. These tings take time, there's no two ways about it. Of course, we'd like to accelerate that process as much as we can. We've got a solid foundation to build on after the first day here. We'll see what we can do to move him up the grid tomorrow."