Edmonton: Series qualifying report

POWER LEADS PENSKE SWEEP AT EDMONTON EDMONTON, Alberta (Saturday, July 25, 2009) - Will Power earned his second PEAK Performance Pole Award by posting the quickest lap in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying session. Power, driving the in the...


EDMONTON, Alberta (Saturday, July 25, 2009) - Will Power earned his second PEAK Performance Pole Award by posting the quickest lap in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying session. Power, driving the in the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental car, turned a lap of 1 minute, 1.0133 seconds (116.414 mph) on the 1.973-mile, 14-turn Edmonton City Centre Airport circuit.

It was the quickest lap of the weekend and came in the final minute of the 10-minute shootout that sets the first three rows on road/street courses.

Power will start next to Ryan Briscoe, last year's pole sitter who recorded his second front-row start in the past three street/road events (1:01.1232) in the No. 6 Team Penske car.

Team Penske's Helio Castroneves (1:01.2033) will join Dixon (1:01.2046), driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, on Row 2.

Graham Rahal (1:01.952), driving the No. 02 McDonald's car for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, and IndyCar Series points leader Dario Franchitti (1:01.8344) will share Row 3.



The No. 20 William Rast/Lilly Vision Racing IndyCar Series car of Ed Carpenter, the #21 People*s Liberation Vision Racing Firestone Indy Lights car of James Davison and the #28 LeBleu/Bryan Herta Autosport car of Daniel Herrington are carrying a decal with get well wishes for Vision crew member Chris "Beaker"Sheffer, who is hospitalized at St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis.

Luczo Dragon Racing has shuffled its pit crew after a pair of crew members had family emergencies will preclude them from participating. Team manager John Comminskey will serve as the inside rear tire changer in place of Tim White, while Bill White a shop-based crew member from Andretti Green Racing, is filling in as fueler in place Rick Campbell.



* This is Will Power's second pole of the season. He was also on the pole at Long Beach earlier this year. He has been involved in every Firestone Fast Six in each race he has participated in.

* Ryan Briscoe qualified second, his sixth front row start this season.

* Helio Castroneves was third, his best qualifying performance on a road or street course this year. His previous best was eighth at Long Beach.

* Scott Dixon qualified fourth. He has qualified in the top-10 every race this season.

* Graham Rahal qualified fifth. He has been in the Fast Six four times in five races where the format has been used.

* Dario Franchitti was sixth. He is the only driver to be in every Firestone Fast Six this season.



WILL POWER (No. 12 Penske Truck Rental, PEAK Performance Pole Award winner): "It's very tough qualifying here. I'm physically exhausted. To do that lap, I'm very tired by the end of it, but it was a very good result. I'm very happy to have a 1-2-3 qualifying result for Penske Racing. It just shows what a good team I'm with. None of us have really had to make too many changes this weekend. The cars have been spot on."

(About starting on the pole): "The starting position gives you an advantage, but you've really got to use it. As you can see in these races, anything can happen. I just hope to have a clean race tomorrow in the Penske Truck Rental car. I'd love to win one before the next few races that I get to compete in. Tomorrow would be nice."

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, qualified second): "I feel pretty good. I would have liked the pole but the important thing is we're at the front and the Team Penske car is very fast. It's really handling well around this Edmonton track so it really makes us feel good going into the race tomorrow. It is a little bit frustrating because we didn't get everything out of the new tires that we could have. I felt like there was a little bit more to lose than to gain by hanging it out too much, but it's still awesome. I've gone on to finish first when starting in second place before so hopefully we can make that happen tomorrow."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, qualified third): "It was fun. For a moment I forgot how fun it was to fight for the pole position but, let me tell you, Team Penske is awesome. They did a great job putting three cars in the top positions. That's what happens when you have three guys that step on the gas, you get excitement and it makes you push as hard as you can. I'm happy and we will be ready for a strong race on Sunday."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, qualified fourth): "My afternoon wasn't too bad. It's a difficult circuit that I think our team struggles at a bit for pure, flat-out speed. We were back and forth throughout the weekend and in and out of the top six positions, so it's been tough. Qualifying, especially in the first group was pretty tough for me. As qualifying went on, especially for the last run I didn't think that we could even get close to the top but we did on our second set of reds (Firestone tires) so that was pretty nice."

GRAHAM RAHAL: (No. 02 McDonald's Racing Team, qualified fifth): "We started the third round on the old reds (alternate tires) and we probably could have gone a little bit quicker but we wouldn't have done a 1:01.2. We decided early on that if we weren't going to get enough out of it we were going to come in early and put on a set of blacks (primary tires) but it felt like the left rear was loose when we did which wasn't the case but that's how it felt. It was so loose in the right handers that it felt like something was broken so we pitted and didn't really make our second run in the final round of qualifying. Fortunately we're in the top-six again which feels really good for the McDonald's boys. The best thing is that at the end of last year we sat down and had a talk at the shop and we said 'If we don't make the top-six at least three times next year we're going to be disappointed' and we've been in it every single time but once and we narrowly missed it and started seventh. So we've got to be pretty pleased with that."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Vaseline, qualified sixth): "I'm delighted with our performance today. We've struggled all weekend with this car. The guys on the team worked so, so hard. I'm happy with our team's performance today."

MARIO MORAES (No. 5 1800 Tequilla/Votorantim/KVRT, qualified seventh): "The KV Racing Technology car was really good, but unfortunately I made a mistake on my fastest lap, which cost me a place in the Firestone Fast Six. I feel very bad for the KVRT crew and engineers. They put in a lot of hard work to give me a good car, and I hope tomorrow I can have a good race and give them something back."

RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 US Marines Luczo Dragon Racing, qualified eighth): "Qualifying eighth was OK, but honestly I expected to make the top six so I'm a little disappointed. I had to lift on one of my quick laps because I caught up to traffic, but we'll have a good car for the race. It's a long race and a very physical day. The drivers have to be physically prepared, and I feel good there. Now we'll sit down and go through data and get the car ready for tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the race."

PAUL TRACY (No. 15 Edmonton Honda Dealers/woundedwarriors.ca, qualified ninth): "I was happy with the Edmonton Honda Dealers /Wounded Warriors.ca/KV Racing Technology car. I ran my fastest lap in the first round, but unfortunately the track changed a little bit between the sessions, and I developed some oversteer. We didn't change anything on the car, but the track changed on us. It is so tight from sixth to ninth, where I am, that we missed the Firestone Fast Six by just a tenth (of a second), which is a shame. It is super competitive out there, but I know I have a great race car for tomorrow."

ROBERT DOORNBOS, No. 06 Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, qualified 10th): "We worked hard today towards qualifying. I think we proved in the first round that the pace is there and ended up P2 in that one. We made some changes in between rounds which didn't seem to work when we went back out so we tried to go back on them but we couldn't seem to find the balance anymore. It is obviously disappointing but it will be a long race."


The 2009 IndyCar Series season continues July 26 with the Rexall Edmonton Indy at Edmonton City Centre Airport. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5p.m. (EDT) by VERSUS. A one-hour qualifying show will be telecast by VERSUS at 6 p.m. on July 25. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Bryan Herta , Graham Rahal , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Will Power , James Davison , Daniel Herrington
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Bryan Herta Autosport , KV Racing Technology , Dragon Racing