VISION RACING WILL WAIT UNTIL SUNDAY TO MAKE INDY 500 FIELD INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The first round of qualifying for the 2009 Indianapolis 500, also known as "Pole Day" and includes the battle for the top 11 starting positions for the race, has...
VISION RACING WILL WAIT UNTIL SUNDAY TO MAKE INDY 500 FIELD
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The first round of qualifying for the 2009 Indianapolis 500, also known as "Pole Day" and includes the battle for the top 11 starting positions for the race, has come and gone at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and despite making one attempt to make the field, Vision Racing will wait until Sunday to make the field of 33.
Team driver Ed Carpenter completed one attempt in the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine and made the provisional field with a four lap average of 221.272 mph before eventually being bumped from the top-11 qualifiers, which wasn't finalized until after the gun fired at 6 p.m.
Carpenter also completed 14 laps in practice today with a best lap of 221.612 mph. He is looking to qualify for his sixth Indianapolis 500-mile race and fifth with Vision Racing tomorrow. Just last season he started a career-best 10th at Indy, drove his first career IndyCar Series leader laps (3) and finished a team and career-best fifth place at the Brickyard.
Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay did not make a qualifying attempt today after discovering an issue in the No. 21 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine at the end of the morning practice session. He did return to the track in the afternoon for some additional practice where he turned 17 laps on the day with a best lap of 219.274 mph.
Hunter-Reay is aiming for his second attempt at Indianapolis this year, and hoping to build on his performance last year that earned him Rookie of the Year honors. In the 2008 race, driving for Rahal-Letterman Racing, Hunter-Reay started 20th and drove all the way up to finish just behind his now teammate Carpenter, in the sixth spot.
IndyCar Series qualifying for the 2009 Indianapolis 500 will resume Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. as positions 12 through 22 are up for grabs. Practice begins at 10:15 a.m. ET with qualifying getting underway at noon. Television coverage also begins at noon ET on VERSUS.
The Indianapolis 500 will air live on Sunday, May 24 at noon ET on ABC, as well as IMS Radio Network, XM IndyCar Series Racing Channel 145, XM Sports Nation Channel 144 and on the web at www.IndyCar.com.
Practice & Qualifying Results and Quotes: (May 9, 2009)
Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
Four Lap Qualifying Average: 221.272 mph
No. of Qualifying Attempts: 1
Top Speed in Practice Today: 221.612 mph
Top Time in Practice Today: 40.6116
Number of Laps in Practice Today: 14
Overall Rank in Practice Today: 20th
Top Speed for Month: 222.572 mph (May 7)
Top Time for Month: 40.4364 (May 7)
Number of Laps in Practice for Month: 204
"We knew going into the day that it was going to be tough to crack that top-11 but there were a few surprises. I wouldn't have expected Alex Lloyd to be there at the beginning of the day. I wasn't too happy with our first run and we started to go back out at the end of the day to try again but the qualifying line stacked up again. I think we could have gone 222 mph but not 222 enough to get into that top-11. We decided to not waste another good set of tires and come back tomorrow, get it qualified and start focusing on the race. Definitely disappointed with where we have been on the charts the whole month. It's not where I envisioned before we got out there running. We just have to get over the shell shock of that and get re-focused and make sure we have a really good race car that we can run up front with in the race."
Ryan Hunter-Reay - No. 21 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
Top Speed in Practice Today: 219.274 mph
Top Time in Practice Today: 41.0446
Number of Laps in Practice Today: 17
Overall Rank in Practice Today: 26th
Top Speed for Month: 220.616 mph (May 8)
Top Time for Month: 40.7949 (May 8)
Number of Laps in Practice for Month: 116
On practice: "Today's line-up was pretty much expected; Ganassi, Penske, AGR, but I was surprised by the Coyne and KV Racing speeds. We'll qualify Sunday. That's the realist group to shoot for right now and we have a lot of work to do to make it happen tomorrow. We had some good runs but didn't find the speed we were really hoping for but we'll stick to our list and keep trying things and see what tomorrow brings and try to put it in the show."