Edmonton: Series qualifying report

TEAM PENSKE SWEEPS FRONT ROW AT EDMONTON EDMONTON, Alberta, Friday, July 25, 2008 - For the second consecutive weekend, Team Penske drivers Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves will start on the front row. Briscoe, who won from the second ...


EDMONTON, Alberta, Friday, July 25, 2008 - For the second consecutive weekend, Team Penske drivers Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves will start on the front row.

Briscoe, who won from the second starting position one week ago at Mid-Ohio, won the PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award presented by Canadian Tire and will start first in Saturday's Rexall Edmonton Indy.

Castroneves, who won his 25th pole last weekend, will start second. Both drivers are competing at Edmonton for the first time.

Briscoe navigated the 14-turn, 1.96-mile street circuit in 1 minute, 0.7311 seconds, 116.955 mph to earn his second pole of the season and the third of his career. Castroneves gave Team Penske its 14th 1-2 start with a best lap of 116.753 mph.

Oriol Servia qualified third, series points leader Scott Dixon was fourth, and Will Power was fifth.


The crew on the #18 car driven by Bruno Junqueira was at the track until 5 a.m. this morning making repairs after Junqueira slid off track yesterday afternoon. The team switched the tub and had to change that tub from an oval setup to a road course setup. The team changed the bell housing, gears, suspension and fuel pump. The crew of #19 Mario Moraes stayed to help until 2:30 a.m.

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (No. 18 Z-Line Designs): "The car was loose and got a little air under it. It slammed down so hard it cracked the tub. Now we have to go to our older backup car, which is 30 pounds heavier. The team did an incredible job staying through the night to get the car ready for practice. I would love to reward them with a good finish tomorrow."


Toronto native Marty Roth is excited about competing at Edmonton for the first time.

MARTY ROTH (No. 25 Roth Racing): "It's great to be here. I think this weekend is a real milestone for the IndyCar Series and for open-wheel and Canadian racing. It's great to be back here. It's long overdue. The fans are great. It's the first time I've been to Edmonton. It's a great city, and the fans are just fantastic."


The Indy Racing League Ministry has partnered with Hour House Mission of Edmonton to provide leftover food from the paddock's hospitality area. IRL Ministry anticipates that 4,000 pounds of food will be donated to the charity after the completion of the event weekend. Items will include food, sodas and water.

BOB HILLS (Director, IRL Ministry): "We are delighted to donate food from race weekend to Hour House Mission of Edmonton. The city of Edmonton has been so welcoming this weekend that we are pleased to have the opportunity to give back to the area's less fortunate."


Firestone Indy Lights driver Arie Luyendyk Jr. will undergo surgery on his left knee today in Indianapolis. Luyendyk, who drives the No. 26 Targus car for Andretti Green Racing/AFS Racing, suffered from knee discomfort during a private test at Kentucky Speedway. According to Dr. Michael Olinger, Indy Racing League medical director, Luyendyk was diagnosed with an infected knee, and surgery will remove the infected bursa sac in his knee. His driving status for the Kentucky 100 on Aug. 9 will be determined after the surgery.


#11 Kanaan did not complete a lap in Segment Two. The car suffered damage to the engine when Kanaan spun off course in Segment One and requires an engine change. Per IndyCar Series rules, any car that changes its engine is required to start at the back of the field.


#02 Wilson did not complete a lap during the Firestone Fast Six due to damage sustained when the car brushed the wall during Segment Two. The crew reports suspension damage.



* Ryan Briscoe wins his second PEAK Motor Oil Pole Award of the season and the third of his career. He also won the pole this year at Watkins Glen.

* This is the fourth consecutive pole for Team Penske. In addition to Briscoe's poles, Helio Castroneves won the pole at Nashville and Mid-Ohio.

* This is the fifth time in IndyCar Series history that a team has won four consecutive poles. Team Penske did it most recently in 2006 with Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr. The team actually started on the pole in five consecutive races. One pole was awarded due to points. Castroneves also won four consecutive poles for Team Penske in the final four races of the 2004 season. Scott Dixon (3) and Tomas Scheckter (1) won four consecutive poles for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2003. Billy Boat won four consecutive poles for A.J. Foyt Racing at the end of the 1998 season.

* Helio Castroneves qualified second. He has started on the front row in six of the 13 races this season.

* This is the 38th time in IndyCar Series history that teammates will start 1-2 and the fifth time this season. This is the 14th time Team Penske teammates have started 1-2 and the second time this season. Castroneves won the pole and Briscoe started second at Mid-Ohio.

* Oriol Servia qualified a career-best third. His previous best was fifth at Watkins Glen.

* Scott Dixon qualified fourth, his 11th consecutive top-10 start, the longest current streak in the IndyCar Series.

* Bruno Junqueira qualified a season-best seventh. His previous best was ninth at Richmond and Mid-Ohio.

* Mario Moraes qualified a season-best 10th. His previous best was 13th at Watkins Glen.

* Tony Kanaan did not participate in the Firestone Fast Six session for the first time in 15 road/street races. He had been the only driver to participate in every Firestone Fast Six session.



RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, qualified first): "This one didn't come easy. I was doing all I could just to make it into the Firestone Fast Six. We were making setup changes throughout the session. We just really got it together in the last 10 minutes of qualifying. It's phenomenal. To have Team Penske 1-2 is absolutely perfect."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, second): "We had a great day today. Team Penske did an awesome job putting together another front row sweep. I would have liked to start on the pole position, but Ryan (Briscoe) did a great job. We were pushing out there, and I could see everyone else was pushing, too. I think it's better to play catch up. People have a number to go for, so they take some chances and they may be able to beat it in one lap. In the last session, the second group had just finished running and they were still hot, so I was just trying to make the most of the opportunity. It was just one of those laps where you don't want to make a mistake, so I pushed to a certain limit. It just wasn't good enough for pole."

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 5 KV Racing Technology, third): "I am very happy with the performance of the whole KV Racing Technology team. We are the only transition team to have both drivers in the top five, which I think says a lot about where we have come from and where we are right now. The car has felt really good all weekend, so we have everything in our hands to leave Edmonton with a very good result tomorrow."

(About going from seventh to second in Segment Two) "I knew I had it in the No. 5 KVRT car. I had a couple of laps that I got traffic and I got frustrated because I knew I had the lap time to get me into the top six, but fortunately we had that one lap wonder to pull it together and the car performed."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, fourth): "It was a pretty good day for us. I can't believe how close the times were. Kudos for (Ryan) Briscoe and Team Penske for another pole, but we definitely have a good race car here, and we look to be strong tomorrow."

WILL POWER (No. 8 Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia, fifth): "It was very competitive. I think it's a long race tomorrow and we'll be right there. I've very happy for the team to have two cars in the top five."

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 02 McDonald's Racing Team, sixth): "It was a really good day, right up to the end of the second session. We needed to make the car faster during the day and gain confidence so I could attack more, and I was pleased with the progress. But at the end of the second session, I pushed the car too hard and lost the back exiting (Turn) 6 and made contact with the wall in (Turn) 7. It's disappointing, but that's how it goes. I'm sure the guys will do a good job putting the car back together and we will be able to challenge for the win tomorrow."

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (No. 18 Z-Line Designs, seventh): "I'm happy with qualifying seventh today, which is the best we have qualified this season. After we crashed the car and damaged it in practice yesterday, I wish I could have given the team a pole for their great effort they put into fixing car. I think they we here until five in the morning working on the car. Hopefully we will have a great result in the race on Saturday."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 06 Hole in the Wall Camps, eighth): "It's our highest qualifying on a road course this year, so we are pretty happy about that, but we definitely could have had a better run and definitely would have at the end. On the first run, I couldn't get a clear track, and on the second run it went yellow, and it killed us. When we got back out there on the new tires for our second run, the car felt pretty darn good. I thought we could make up some time, but it didn't end up happening. After the yellow, I went back out and didn't feel that I had all the grip, so I was sliding around quite a lot. Unfortunately I didn't have enough to keep it in the top six. I didn't think anybody was going to go any quicker because there was less than two minutes to go, but a few of them did and dropped us out of the top six. It's going to be pretty tough and physical. It will be hot out, and the track is bumpy s o it will rattle you a lot. Two hours is going to be pretty difficult, but we are going to work hard to get a good results for Rexall, the Oilers and all of the associate sponsors."

MARIO MORAES (No. 19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q, 10th): "We have a fast car, and it showed today. I'm disappointed about how things ended, but I'm happy with a 10th starting spot. I was trying to push too hard and spun coming out of the turn. I'm pretty sure we would have made the Firestone Fast Six if that didn't happen."


SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):
9:55-10:25 a.m. IndyCar Series warm-up
3 p.m. Rexall Edmonton Indy (95 laps/186.2 miles)


The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Rexall Edmonton Indy July 26 at Edmonton City Centre Airport. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 5 p.m. (EDT) by ESPN. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Kentucky 100 on Aug. 9. The race will air at 2 p.m. Aug. 14 on ESPN2.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Helio Castroneves , Bruno Junqueira , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Oriol Servia , Ryan Briscoe , Marty Roth , Chip Ganassi , Will Power , Mario Moraes , A.J. Foyt , Sam Hornish Jr. , Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , KV Racing Technology