KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S PAUL TRACY QUALIFIES 13TH FOR 2009 INDIANAPOLIS 500 SPEEDWAY, IN - - MAY 10, 2009 - - Round ...
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S PAUL TRACY QUALIFIES 13TH FOR 2009 INDIANAPOLIS 500
SPEEDWAY, IN - - MAY 10, 2009 - - Round #4 2009 IndyCar Series season - - KV Racing Technology's Paul Tracy qualified 13th today for the 2009 Indianapolis 500, May 24, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
Tracy, #15 GEICO -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, qualified with a four-lap average of 223.111 mph on the second day of qualifications. He will lineup on the inside of Row #5. With the addition of Tracy, KV Racing Technology now has two cars firmly entrenched in the field for this year's race. Mario Moraes, #5 KV Racing Technology -- Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone, qualified seventh with an impressive 223.331 mph average yesterday. He will start on the inside of Row #3. The team will attempt to qualify a third car for Townsend Bell, #8 Herbalife -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, next weekend.
Tracy made one qualifying attempt yesterday logging an average speed of 221.915 mph, which temporarily placed him 11th on the grid. However, he was bumped from the top 11 forcing him to qualify today. Tracy made his second attempt shortly after 12:00 noon, but after running laps above 223 mph in morning practice, qualified with a 222.749 mph average initially putting him 12th on the grid. As qualifying continued Tracy slipped to 17th so the team decided to make a third attempt. The final attempt was a bit of a gamble since Tracy's original time would have placed him in the top-22 and thus in the race, however, the move paid off as Tracy had an impressive run picking up four places and moved up a row on the grid.
"Paul had a good run this morning", said KVRT General Manager Mark Johnson. "Due to the limited practice time yesterday, we had to roll the dice this morning and see where we were. We were relatively happy with where Paul qualified, but we knew we gave up a little bit. So, we went back and watched how the other teams were doing. With a driver that has Paul's level of talent and confidence there was no doubt in our minds that we could improve our position from where we were. We didn't come here to just put ourselves in the field, but to do the best we can for GEICO. Paul did a great job today and has put us solidly in the field."
Commenting on qualifying Tracy said, "I am really pleased for the GEICO -- KV Racing Technology team. The team did a great job and the second qualifying effort was a lot better. We had done 223 mph earlier in practice, but it just didn't go right in the first qualifying attempt. We were slipping down the grid, so we decided to make another attempt. We told Kevin Kalkhoven what we had decided and he was on board. Then we notified GEICO and they told us they liked that we were not satisfied and loved our intensity. So we went for it and, obviously, it worked out because we picked up four positions and moved up a row."
Tracy, a native of Canada will be contesting his sixth Indy 500 and first with KVRT. This year's 13th place starting position is his second highest in six attempts. His best qualifying position is seventh in 1993 while his best finish is a controversial runner-up performance in 2002.
Moraes will be contesting his second Indianapolis 500 and 12th race on an oval. The 20-year-old Brazilian, the second youngest driver in the series, made his IMS debut last year qualifying 28th and finishing 18th. In 11 previous oval events, Moraes has a be st finish of 10th last year in Nashville (career best finish is seventh on the Watkins Glen road course also in 2008).