MORAES QUALIFIES EIGHTH FOR PEAK ANTIFREEZE AND MOTOR OIL INDY 300 JOLIET, IL - - AUGUST 28, 2009 - - Round ...
MORAES QUALIFIES EIGHTH FOR PEAK ANTIFREEZE AND MOTOR OIL INDY 300
JOLIET, IL - - AUGUST 28, 2009 - - Round #15 2009 IndyCar Series season - - KV Racing Technology driver Mario Moraes qualified eighth for tomorrow's Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.
Moraes, competing for the second time on the 1.5-mile D-shaped tri-oval, posted a four-lap average of 214.331 mph. The native of Brazil will grid the #5 Azul -- Votorantim - KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine on the outside of Row #4.
"The KV Racing Technology team did a great today," Moraes said. "It's good to be back on an oval and I am looking forward to the race tomorrow. I have learned this year that even if you start in the back, like we did in Kentucky when qualifying was cancelled, if you have a fast car, which we do, and drive a smart race you can finish in the front. So starting eighth tomorrow, I think we can have a good race."
Moraes was ninth on the speed charts following morning practice with a speed of 215.759 mph. In qualifying he went out fifth of the 23 cars making an attempt and ran four consistent laps that varied by only .0113 of a second (.095 mph) between the fastest and slowest lap.
Moraes, who is coming off a career high fourth place finish last week on the road course in Sonoma, is in his second IndyCar season and first with KVRT. He will be making his 18th career oval start tomorrow. This is Moraes' best starting position at Chicagoland. Last year he qualified 27th and finished 21st. Moraes has qualified in the top-eight five times out of six on ovals (Iowa and Kentucky qualifying cancelled) and seven times in 12 total attempts (DNR in Mid-Ohio) this year. He has earned two top-five starting spots, including a career high fourth at Watkins Glen and an oval career high fifth at Milwaukee. Prior to joining KVRT for the 2009 season, Moraes had qualified in the top-10 in just one IndyCar event and never higher than 20th on an oval.
Moraes' eighth place starting spot is KVRT's best in three attempts, two appearances, at Chicagoland. Last year Will Power qualified 10th (finished fifth) while Oriol Servia started 12 (finished 17th).