IRL: Charlotte qualifying chronology

INDY RACING LEAGUE QUALIFYING CHRONOLOGY Official Alltime CMS Track Record: 185.759 miles an hour by Ward Burton in a Winston Cup car on Oct. 6, 1994. Time Qual Car Driver First Lap ...

INDY RACING LEAGUE QUALIFYING CHRONOLOGY

Official Alltime CMS Track Record: 185.759 miles an hour by Ward Burton in a Winston Cup car on Oct. 6, 1994.

Time Qual Car Driver First Lap Second Lap Speed of Day Attp No. Time Speed Time Speed Rank 7:10 1 5 Arie Luyendyk 25.245 213.904 25.172 214.524 1 (First lap breaks alltime CMS track record of 185.759 by Ward Burton) (Second lap breaks alltime CMS track record of 213.904 set by Luyendyk on first lap) 7:12 2 2 Tony Stewart 24.986 216.121 24.866 217.164 1 (First lap breaks alltime CMS track record of 214.524 set by Arie Luyendyk earlier) (Second lap breaks alltime CMS track record of 216.121 set by Stewart on first lap) 7:16 3 1 Billy Boat 25.543 211.408 25.419 212.440 3 7:18 4 14 Davey Hamilton 25.454 212.147 25.424 212.398 4 7:24 5 51 Eddie Cheever Jr. 25.929 208.261 25.911 208.406 5 7:28 6 40 Dr. Jack Miller 26.413 204.445 26.193 206.162 6 7:30 Temperature was 88 degrees, track temperature 104 degrees, according to Firestone tire engineers. 7:31 7 33 Jimmy Kite 25.865 208.776 25.891 208.567 5 7:33 8 70 Marco Greco 25.823 209.116 25.861 208.809 5 7:39 9 10 Mike Groff 27.548 196.021 27.187 198.624 9 7:42 10 18 John Paul Jr. 26.883 200.870 26.577 203.183 9 7:45 11 17 Affonso Giaffone 26.045 207.333 26.074 207.103 8 7:47 12 27 Jim Guthrie 25.782 209.448 25.661 210.436 5 7:50 13 21 Roberto Guerrero 25.736 209.823 25.688 210.215 6 7:53 14 77 Stephan Gregoire 25.967 207.956 25.799 209.310 7 7:59 15 91 Buddy Lazier 25.478 211.948 25.514 211.649 5 8 p.m. Temperature was 86 degrees, track temperature was 99 degrees, according to Firestone tire engineers. 8:01 16 28 Mark Dismore 25.827 209.084 25.808 209.237 9 8:04 17 6 Scott Goodyear 26.065 207.174 25.787 209.408 8 8:11 18 7 Eliseo Salazar 25.891 208.567 25.961 208.004 13 8:14 19 30 Robbie Groff 26.328 205.105 26.333 205.066 17 8:16 20 22 Vincenzo Sospiri 26.236 205.824 25.833 209.035 12 8:19 Track opened for practice for #31 Ray, #4 Brack. 8:24 21 4 Kenny Brack 26.089 206.984 26.062 207.198 17 8:28 22 31 Greg Ray 26.120 206.738 26.054 207.262 17

NOTES, QUOTES ON QUALIFYING:

--The pole is Tony Stewart's fifth in the IRL and seventh straight front-row start. It's his eighth front-row start in the 11 IRL races. --Sam Schmidt did not qualify because of a broken cam sensor. "Sixty-nine cent part, three-hour repair," said a team spokesperson. --This is Arie Luyendyk's fifth front-row IRL start. --This is Billy Boat's best career IRL start. His best previous was 15th at Pikes Peak last month.

BILLY BOAT: "I believe we ran faster than we practiced. It will be an advantage to go later. It's going to help the guys later on. The track could change a lot. We haven't had a lot of time under the lights."

IRL QUOTES (continued):

DR. JACK MILLER: "We're really happy. We got the car working real well right now. I was flat all the way around. We ran the optional tires. I think they gripped too well. We feel Nissan is making the improvements necessary to provide more power, yet still keeping reliability a priority. We're not there yet but we're getting closer. They're working with us, giving us a better engine. We have faith in them, they have faith in us. It's more bumpy here than at Texas. Every characteristic of the corners are different."

MIKE GROFF: "We've got our work cut out for us. Getting in and out of the car was a little tough. I think we'll be okay on Race Day...not 100 percent yet but it's good to be back in a race car and here in Charlotte. I think I'll be rid of these (crutches) in a few weeks. Conditions are absolutely good right now. All in all, ideal conditions...it's really cooled off."

JIM GUTHRIE: "We're really glad to be here. We've been sneaking up on it each day. It's really hot here, but it's fun. We're racing now. That Jacuzzi car was flying. The guys worked really hard. They were thrashing. We've been making a lot of shock changes because of (Turns) 3 and 4. We're just trying to loosen it up. We were a little soft. We're doing springs and wings...the basics. I was smelling the wood burning on the last lap. We'll get it loosened up. It's pretty tough since we weren't here in testing like a lot of the teams."

BUDDY LAZIER: "The team has been working real well. We're as flat-out as flat-out is. We're just going as fast as we can go. We haven't figured out how to make it go. We're right at 10,500 RPMs. We're working erally hard but we're just a little frustrated. We've got a pretty good handle on the bumps but I think it's going to add to the racing."

SAM SCHMIDT: "Last time out we broke a cam sensor. They're thrashing over there but there's an 8:30 deadline and I don't think we're gonna make it. It's really disappointing. We didn't have a pole car but we had a top-10 car."

ROBBIE GROFF: "We couldn't do any better for this time right now. I'm flat around the track. We're up there on the RPMs but we don't know what's up."

ARIE LUYENDYK: "For the first time I was flat out all the way around. We expected Tony to be quicker. We didn't test here and that put us at a big disadvantage. We are still a little behind, but we actually qualified with our race engine so I think we are in good shape for the race. "

DAVEY HAMILTON: "We were hoping for a little more, but the car is real comfortable and I was able to go around here flat out. The car had a bunch of push, so we were scrubbing off too much speed. The good thing is that the car is very comfortable and I think we can do that speed all day long."

JIMMY KITE: "We missed the whole second half of practice with a gearbox problem, so we're happy with that run. We've got a good race car but we didn't have a chance to trim it out for qualifying. We basically went out with a race setup. Our big deal is to get ready for the race and then complete the entire distance." (about slowing down on second lap): "I looked down at the dashboard and saw we were only running 208 so I decided to alter my groove and obviously it didn't work."

JOHN PAUL JR.: "It's pretty damned slow. We didn't test here and we're trying to catch up with the teams that were here two and three times. We've got to work on getting the car over the bumps. The front end took off in Turn 3 and I was lucky to save it. If we can get the car where it's balanced over the bumps, we'll be in great shape. It took me a half a day to get my brain back up to speed so I could give the team the feedback they needed and that really put us behind the 8-ball."

SCOTT GOODYEAR: "It stunk. We changed the car from this morning and we didn't have a clue what it was gonna do."

STEPHAN GREGOIRE: "The car is pushing in the entrance to the corners and it was not very stable through the bumps but that was a good time for us because we didn't test and we didn't go to Texas. This track is very challenging. It's just a matter of finding the setup and so far, we haven't found it."

IRL POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES (continued):

VINCENZO SOSPIRI: "I had to lift big-time in (Turn) 3. It has a little push in (Turns) 1 and 2. Then I nearly lost the car in (Turn) 3. That's where we lost all our speed. We didn't test here but we were able to get the car sorted out quickly. But it looks like we still have a little more work to do." (about gaining speed over practice): "I'm not pushing the car during practice. In practice, you try to get a feel for the car and it doesn't matter if you're running 200 or 205. I think we made a small mistake on the ride height and the tire pressure or we would have been much quicker."

KENNY BRACK: "It was okay. The team did a tremendous job after we had an engine problem. The car felt pretty stable. I was flatout all the way around both laps and that's all you can do from the cockpit. We'll have to find some more speed in the car for the race."

TONY STEWART: "The guys did a good job for us again. You know they've given me a great race car. We didn't want to get the car too good in practice. Basically, we just left a little bit for qualifying. We only gained two or three tenths of a mile an hour. Unless there are some sleepers, everyone will run the same as they did in practice." (about the race): "I wouldn't want to rule anyone out. In the race, I think we'll be pretty close to qualifying speeds. I'm always looking forward to the race." (about learning from Joe Gibbs Racing about the track): "Quite a bit actually. It's an advantage when you can find out the speed spots before you get there." (what does the IRL bring to NASCAR country?): "Raw speed, first of all. Just like in Texas, we were running side-by-side."

EDDIE CHEEVER JR.: "Not too good. We've just had problems on these high-banked ovals. The car has been very reliable. When you have your foot flat on the pedal, there's just no more left. To win this race, you're gonna have to do 210, 211 every lap. The fans will come down and see some good racing. The Indy cars invited the NASCAR boys down to the Holy Land and now they've invited us here." (differences between IRL and NASCAR cars): "When you're sitting in a race car, it's the same...you turn left."

MARCO GRECO: "The track can be a little bit harder physically but I'll be okay. The car was very good. We didn't have enough time to practice and set up the car. I was flat out. There was some understeer in the car. I think we can cure that for the race. I think it's just a question of setting up the car."

AFFONSO GIAFFONE: "I was flat-out all the way around. There was no pushing or nothing. It felt really good. We need to bring the car back to the garage and see what's going on." (importance of Friday's practice): "It's very important. It's gonna be the first time that everyone is going to run on full tanks."

ROBERTO GUERRERO: "Well, to be honest with you, I'm a little disappointed. I was going for the pole after the way we ran on Tuesday. We'll be in good shape for Saturday. The car is working really well. We pretty much did the same speed as we did in practice." (about the race): "If your car is working on Saturday, it doesn't matter where you start. I think we'll be able to put on a good show. Indianapolis is the kingdom of Indy cars and this place is the kingdom of NASCAR."

MARK DISMORE: "We'll figure out what's going on and we'll get some more speed. The track for us is getting better and better. It really comes down to shock absorber tuning. Turn 4 is the place where you really have to focus."

GREG RAY: "Well, even though we only got three hot laps before qualifying and 12 laps of practice on Tuesday, I'm still happy. It was sort of do or die time. We were looking forward to having a good weekend after we picked up all of those sponsors. The car felt very comfortable. In Turn 1, the car picked up a little bit of a push. We had an oil pump break this morning and we've never seen this place and we haven't had any practice time. We'll have a good race. We're a new team and we'll bounce back."

ELISEO SALAZAR: "We went flat-out all the way around. We didn't have enough speed on the straights. We're going to have to just fine some speed somewhere, but I don't know where. Maybe it's just the weather."

IRL POST-QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES:

ARIE LUYENDYK: "We have a little bit of a feel of how this race is going to go. I've got a feel for the traffic. If you had asked me three or four years ago about running on high-banked tracks, I'd say you were nuts, but these cars are built pretty strong. It makes you feel comfortable knowing you can run fast on this kind of track without losing something on the car."

BILLY BOAT: "I guess the upside is that this is my best starting spot. I'll just try to hang with the pack. We haven't really changed much on the car at all. I think we have a good race car, which is the most important thing. Night racing is just second nature to us because we've been doing it all our lives."

TONY STEWART: (about his run): "The run was pretty much the same as we had in practice. Basically, we didn't make a lot of changes going into qualifying. Basically, we just tried to compensate for the weather. We didn't make any drastic changes so we didn't gain much time. It was a five-lap practice run for us." (about running later in line): "When we were in Texas, we went faster in the practice session in the warmer weather than we did in qualifying so I didn't want to let anyone know but that was what I really wanted. I didn't think it hurt us by any means. But after looking at the other times, I don't think it would have benefitted either." (about running a stock car here vs. an IRL car): "It's a lot easier to get it into your mind that you can go into (Turn) 3 flat than try to do it in a stock car. You are dealing with so much more weight and half as much tire. These cars are a lot more nimble and agile than the stock cars are."

LARRY CURRY (Team Menard, director of racing): "We really didn't make that many adjustments to the car since we've been here this weekend. When we had the test down here, it was very evident we would have to make some shock absorber changes to get the car to ride over the bumps in (Turns) 3 and 4. We felt that that was going to be the key, to run quicker than we ran in the tes. We just made very, very small changes from the first day we ran till today. It's very easy for me to sit here and say I thought he would run 216 or 217 but I did."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Ward Burton , Tony Stewart , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Davey Hamilton , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Mark Dismore , Jim Guthrie , Scott Goodyear , Roberto Guerrero , Jimmy Kite , Kenny Brack , Sam Schmidt , John Paul , Vincenzo Sospiri , Jack Miller
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing