Priestley qualifies third for season opener; Sharp, Unser prepare for Ameristar Casino Indy 200 Kelley Racing begins their expansion in motorsports as their Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series team qualified third in the season opener with driver ...
Priestley qualifies third for season opener; Sharp, Unser prepare for Ameristar Casino Indy 200
Kelley Racing begins their expansion in motorsports as their Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series team qualified third in the season opener with driver Jason Priestley.
Priestley will start inside the second row in tomorrow's inaugural event. Initially his speed of 177.988 mph was good enough for the pole, but as the remainder of the field made their qualifying attempts, A.J. Foyt IV and Ronnie Johncox posted speeds faster than the No. 7 HomeMed car.
"Man, this feels really good," said Priestley. "The HomeMed car was awesome. My guys thrashed all day to replace the engine. My hat is off to those boys. They are the best. This is the first time in my racing career I have seen speeds like this. The car responded unbelievably well. I am really diggin' this. I love driving this car. They have great downforce. It is anyone's race here at Kansas tomorrow. I am proud to be here with Kelley Racing and my awesome crew."
Sharp and Unser struggled during their qualifying runs for the Ameristar Casino Indy 200. The changing track conditions caused many teams to make changes to their setups prior to qualifying. When compared to the morning practice speeds it's obvious that both the Corteco/Bryant and Delphi teams played the same guessing games as their competition. Some changes worked, while others didn't.
"Our qualifying run was not good," said Sharp. "We're just not pleased at all. If you take away all the speeds from drafting during practice today, we'd be third or fourth fastest. We were fooled by the conditions during qualifying and made some changes based on what others were saying and they were just the wrong changes for us. We'll just change things back and the Delphi car will be good to go for the race."
Sharp's qualifying speed of 215.022 mph puts his No. 8 Delphi car on the inside of Row 7, while his teammate Al Unser Jr. will start inside Row 9 with a qualifying speed of 213.598 mph.
"We had our engine go sour on us this morning in practice," said Unser. "Although we weren't at the speed we should have been, we felt like we had the handling pretty good on the Corteco/Bryant car. My crew did an awesome job on the engine change to get the car in line for qualifying. The engine they put in is awesome, but the handling was way off. I was so loose. The track changed a lot on us, probably because of the tire rubber from the truck race. I really wanted to qualify better, but we will run a smart race tomorrow and see if we can move to the front."
The Ameristar Casino Indy 200 will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday, July 7. Highlights from the inaugural Infiniti Pro Series race will be broadcast at 6 p.m. (EDT) July 25 on ESPN2.