Edmonton: Series qualifying report

POWER TAKES POLE FOR HONDA EDMONTON INDY EDMONTON, Alberta (Saturday, July 24, 2010) - Will Power earned his sixth PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season (the fifth on road/street courses), slipping past Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves...

POWER TAKES POLE FOR HONDA EDMONTON INDY

EDMONTON, Alberta (Saturday, July 24, 2010) - Will Power earned his sixth PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season (the fifth on road/street courses), slipping past Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves by 0.0765 of a second in the Firestone Fast Six session on the 1.973-mile, 14-turn City Centre Airport course, for the Honda Indy Edmonton.

Scott Dixon, the 2008 race winner, in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car had a best lap of 1:01.2395 in the Firestone Fast Six and will start next to teammate Dario Franchitti (1:01.2481) on Row 2. Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe (1:01.3799) and E.J. Viso, making his first appearance in the Firestone Fast Six this season in the No. 8 PDVSA KV Racing Technology car (1:01.6122), will be on the third row.

Rookie Simona de Silvestro will start a season-high seventh in the No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing car, and Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay also will be on Row 4 in the No. 37 IZOD entry.

DAY 2 NOTEBOOK:

The chief mechanics for Team Penske's No. 3 and No. 6 cars are not in Edmonton this weekend due to injuries sustained away from the track.

Sean Hanrahan, chief mechanic for No. 3 Helio Castroneves is not at Edmonton after surgery for a hernia this week. Rick Rinaman, who served as chief mechanic on the car prior to this season, is filling in as chief mechanic and as outside front tire changer on the car. Hanrahan is expected to return to chief mechanic duties at Mid Ohio.

Matt Jonsson, chief mechanic for No. 6 Ryan Briscoe, remains out of action with a broken right ankle. Jonsson, who served as chief mechanic at Toronto, is not in Edmonton. John Stanchina, who was the outside front tire changer on the car last week in Toronto, will return as chief mechanic and outside front tire changer on the car Jonsson is expected to return to chief mechanic duties at Mid Ohio.

***

IZOD IndyCar Series entrant FAZZT Race Team and Canadian driver Alex Tagliani are lending their support to Montreal-based non-governmental organization ONE DROP. The ONE DROP logo has been on display on the No.77 FAZZT Bowers & Wilkins Hot Wheels at the Honda Indy Toronto (July 17-19) and Honda Indy Edmonton (July 23-25)

Established in October of 2007, ONE DROP - an initiative of Guy Laliberte, the founder of Cirque du Soleil - fights poverty through its projects aimed at supporting access to water in developing countries and raising each and every one's awareness of water-related issues worldwide.

ANDRE AZZI (FAZZT Race Team owner): "As CEO of Fazzt Race Team, I am so proud to be associated with ONE DROP. It's sad to know that in 2010, people around the world still lack access to safe water. Our hope is to help raise awareness and get race fans in both Canada and the United States, as well as our international followers, to support water for all."

ALEX TAGLIANI (driver, FAZZT Race Team): "Our goal is to use our team, the sport we love and our visibility amongst IndyCar fans to help bring attention to this vital issue and make the world just a little bit better for everyone. We're blessed to be able to go racing or enjoy it as a fan, but it's also nice to have the opportunity to do something important for others as well. We hope to an impact even just by educating people and letting them know about what ONE DROP is all about."

LILI-ANNA PERESA, executive director, ONE DROP): "We very much appreciate the support of the FAZZT Race Team in spreading our message and supporting safe water for all. Water and poverty are closely linked. When populations have easy access to water, they have more time to devote to activities that enable them to improve their living conditions. Health, equality between men and women, a decent income and food security all depend on having access to water."

***

John Cummiskey, team manager of de Ferran Dragon Racing, is wearing the CF-18 Hornet patch presented to him by Capt. Brian Bews during last year's Edmonton race weekend.

Capt. Bews ejected from his CF-18 Hornet as the plane plunged toward the ground during a practice session July 23 for the Alberta International Air Show in Lethbridge. Capt. Bews remained in a Saskatchewan hospital July 24, listed in stable condition. The Defense Department is investigating the crash.

Capt. Bews was among the guests of de Ferran Dragon Racing at the City Centre Airport in 2009.

PEAK PERFORMANCE POLE QUALIFYING NOTES:

* Will Power won the pole for the Honda Indy Edmonton, his sixth pole of the season. He also won the pole at Edmonton in 2009.

* This is Power's fourth consecutive front row start.

* Helio Castroneves will start second. Castroneves has started no worse than third in three starts at Edmonton.

* Scott Dixon will start third, his 43rd consecutive top-10 start, further extending the series record.

* Dario Franchitti will start fourth, his seventh consecutive top-five start of the season.

* Ryan Briscoe will start fifth, his sixth top-five start of the season.

* E.J. Viso will start sixth, his best start of the season. His previous best start in 2010 was ninth at St. Petersburg. This is the first time that Viso has qualified for the Firestone Fast Six in 2010.

* Simona De Silvestro will start seventh, her best start of the season. De Silvestro missed the Firestone Fast Six by .146 of a second. Her previous best start was 11th at Sao Paulo.

* Raphael Matos will start 8th, his best starting position of the season. His previous best was 11th at both Watkins Glen and Toronto.

* Tomas Scheckter will start 12th, his best qualifying effort of the 2012 season.

PEAK PERFORMANCE POLE QUALIFYING QUOTES:

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske): "It's awesome to get the Verizon car on the pole again. All the points count and I know here it's important to be at the front because it is tough to pass. If all the strategy goes well, like it did last year, it makes it easier to win. It's a long day tomorrow. We have a good starting spot and we have to keep going to win this championship."

(What makes you so good at this track?): "We've all work really hard. Obviously, last year the cats were really good. But this year, I had trouble trying to beat my teammate. It's good to see two Team Penske cars on the front row."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske): "We had a very good lap out there and I just made a little mistake and this place is about not making mistakes. Will is making us better - me, Ryan and the team. He's pushing hard and I'm pushing hard, too. It's a shame we couldn't make it, but we're getting closer. We can win the race from (second)."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): "We just missed it a little bit. Ultimately, it wasn't a bad (Firestone) Fast Six for us."

E.J. VISO (No. 8 PDVSA-Jet Aviation-KV Racing Technology): "It was a good run today and a good qualifying effort against very tough guys. We put in so much effort to go up against the Penske and Ganassi drivers that we didn't have a set of stickers that we could use in the last run. We needed another two or three tenths from a set of stickers and we could have qualified in P4. We're happy. It's a tough race and a long race and we have the resources to finish up with those guys."

TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 Lotus - KV Racing Technology): "The first group was the toughest group today. I didn't get a good feeling during the first run with the primary tires. However, when we went to the alternate tire, the car was getting better and it looked like it was all coming together. Unfortunately the times were so close that we missed the top-12 by just a tenth. I tried everything we had but we just couldn't find the grip so I'm very disappointed we didn't make it through to Q2 today."

MARIO MORAES (No. 32 KV Racing Technology): "Unfortunately, my KV Racing car had some understeer in qualifying. We couldn't put a lap together to reach the Top 12. We just missed at the end of session. Overall, our balance in the car is pretty good for the race. I hope to get a good start and move up in the race."

PAUL TRACY (No. 15 Make-A-Wish KV Racing Technology): "We were put in the hardest group possible today. There were three Penskes, a Ganassi car, Wilson and others. That group was just stacked with a lot of fast guys. It's a shame because we just didn't have enough to transfer to the second round. We missed by a little today. It's tough to start 15th on Sunday. I really wanted to start further up in the grid for the Make A Wish, Honda Canada and Motegi Wheels people. We had been a top-seven car all weekend leading into qualifying. I'm disappointed for everyone. We'll have to drive through the field again in the race."

DAN WHELDON (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing): "A lot of the things we've learned from the Soldiers in the National Guard are really helpful on a day like today - it's their 'never give up' and 'never say die' attitude that gets them through tough situations and that's what everybody on the National Guard Panther Racing team is going to strive for as we look forward to tomorrow's race. We've learned some key things in the last two days here in Edmonton and myself and everybody on this team are going to work hard tonight and tomorrow in the warm-up to improve the No. 4 car so that we're a factor in the race. We've overcome some challenges in each of the past two IZOD IndyCar Series races and the fans that will be here tomorrow and the ones watching on TV are going to see the same effort during the race tomorrow."

MARIO ROMANCINI (No. 34 Conquest Racing): "After the morning practice, we got a pretty good balance and I was happy with the car. But in qualifying when we tried the red tires, the balance changed a lot, and the car was very lose and we missed quite a lot of time because of that. It wasn't so bad for us as P17 is the best position start so far in the season, so we can't complain a lot, but based on what happened this morning, we were expecting to be a bit better, but the race is going to be long tomorrow, and I think we will have a solid race car."

BERTRAND BAGUETTE (No. 36 Conquest Racing/RACB): "The qualification session was a little bit better for us. On the first set of tires it wasn't so good, but then we did some few good modifications for the second set. Unfortunately, I hit the wall on my second lap and I damaged the left corner of my car; and after that it was harder for sure. I still did my best driving the car, but without that damage it would be a lot quicker. We are P20, the race is long and quite physical so everything is possible".

HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic): "We improved a lot overnight; it was a significant improvement. Then we had a good practice session and ended fourth fastest and I was quite happy, balance-wise so we kept the same balance in qualifying but the temperature went a lot warmer and the balance changed. We tried many things during the qualifying session to try to find a better balance but we just didn't find it in the limited time. It was good to get back in Round 2 after not making it the past two events. It was good news for me and I was trying to get into the next round for the top-six but it was difficult because the balance changed a lot. In Toronto we found a good race setup and although it's not the same layout here at all but I think we can apply it here. It's going to be a tough race. My arms are already banged up a little."

DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Team GoDaddy.com): "Coming off of a strong weekend in Toronto, we were hoping to keep the momentum going into Edmonton for the GoDaddy.com car. I was in a really tough qualifying group, and I didn't have the speed to make it into the top six today. The first couple laps of tomorrow's race will be very important, and hopefully we'll come out with some clean laps."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven): "It was a tough day for Team 7-Eleven and for the whole team. Sometimes when you're struggling as a team, you try to do too much when you get in the car, and that's what happened. I'm driving the car, so I'm the only one to blame. You try to set the world on fire because you trust in yourself and have a lot of confidence that you can make a difference. Sometimes you go over the limit."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 37 Team IZOD): "We definitely recovered a little bit since yesterday, but we're still struggling with something. We're not satisfied with our qualifying effort overall as a team. But, I know the IZOD guys will give me a great race car. I always know when I wake up in the morning on race day that I've got a shot to put that thing in the top five. We'll do our best at getting a good race car under us tomorrow, but eighth today was like a home run."

RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 HP de Ferran Dragon Racing): It was a good qualifying session today. It was great to advance to the second round. We made some improvements to the car between the first and second rounds. We're missing a little bit, but we are close on the set-up and we keep getting closer. This is a physically demanding track and that will make for a long race, but I have been training really hard and I feel really fit. So I'm hoping that will help me in the race tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it.

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy): "We really needed to take advantage of the Firestone reds today and unfortunately we just weren't able to find the grip we needed. Track position is crucial at a place like this so it's frustrating for the Venom car to start where we are. We'll do what we can to make the best out of the race tomorrow."

ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins/Hot Wheels): "It wasn't so much that the group one draw was so competitive it's that we just weren't competitive like we should be. It's no secret that we've been struggling to find a set up all weekend. We're a bit lost at the moment with a car that has a lot of understeer, is very nervous with some push. I just feels really unstable and just doesn't have any bit even with the Firestone red tires on. The way the car feels on the track, I would have been very surprised if we had made it out of our group to battle for the Firestone Fast 6. We're not going to give up. The Fazzt guys will keep working to find something to make the no.77 Bower & Wilkins Hot Wheels car better and we'll also try to be creative with our strategy for the race. Until that checkered flag drops we're going to fight."

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 22 Team Z-Line Designs/DRR): "The Z-Line Designs car was quick and I would have thought I was running P2 if the crew hadn't told me my lap times and position. I lost a bit of rear grip on my final two laps and unfortunately we missed the Firestone Fast Six by a couple of tenths. I think we have a good race car and will go over the data tonight and work out a game plan for the race. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully we can pick up positions throughout the race."

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 24 MonaVie/DRR): "Today was a lot better. Considering the fact that I have only been on road courses for only about four or five days this year, we definitely are getting better and developing the car and getting the time that we need. We didn't want to do any more so after we made the top-12 we saved two sets of the Firestone Firehawk Alternate (red sidewall) tires. I'm really pleased with the MonaVie car and it really seems to suit the Firestone Firehawk "red" tires, so I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske): "It's really exciting as usual. This track, it's exciting. It's really fast and bumpy, but you can really attack the bumps and push the car hard. It's a lot of fun out there. My car wasn't really to my liking. We made probably too many changes going into qualifying just trying to find an extra couple of 10ths and sort of went backwards a bit. It was a little disappointing for me. I thought we would have a shot at pole today, but we didn't have the speed. It was good to get in the Fast Six. It was tough to get through Q1. It was just really good. I mean, no yellow flags at all, so the whole field was very consistent on such a challenging track. But fifth is good. I started on the front row the last two years and it didn't work out for me, so maybe starting fifth will help."

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds/HVM): "Starting seventh with some of the big guys in front of us is something pretty special. We put two sets of reds (Firestone alternate tires) on in the first session. I think if we would have had a fresh set of reds in the second session we would have been a bit quicker. But the whole team at HVM can be really happy. They've worked really hard all weekend, and now we just have to try to move forward and I think it could be a good race for us. If we can duplicate what we did in Toronto -- moving forward in the race -- I think with this starting position it's going to be good."

VITOR MEIRA (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing): "It's not a weekend we were expecting to be honest. We came out of Toronto with a decent result, it wasn't an optimum weekend there, but we learned a bunch of things. We unloaded here and it wasn't good, we have been chasing a moving target here. We don't know where to pinpoint where the problem is. We're trying things, very aggressive things. We're going through every piece of information, but so far, we have not figured out what we can improve. We're talking about a second here, so it's not a small detail. Maybe it's a lot of small things or one big thing but we'll keep our heads down and keep working. We have one practice left to get it right."

SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE (All time local):
10- 10:30 a.m. IZOD IndyCar Series warmup
3 p.m. IZOD IndyCar Series Honda Indy Edmonton pre-race
4 p.m. Honda Indy Edmonton (95 laps), VERSUS (Live)

The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues July 25 with the Honda Indy Edmonton at Edmonton City Centre Airport. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5 p.m. (ET) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 212. The race also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Edmonton 100 on July 25 at Edmonton City Centre Airport.

-source: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Will Power , Simona de Silvestro , A.J. Foyt , John Stanch
Teams Andretti Autosport , Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , KV Racing Technology , HVM Racing , FAZZT Race Team , Dragon Racing , Conquest Racing