IRL: Chicagoland: Billy Boat qualifying report

Boat captures second row start for Delphi Indy 300. With a fast lap of 221.708mph in 24.6811, Billy Boat captured a fourth place starting position for tomorrow's Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. "We have to be happy with a fourth place...

Boat captures second row start for Delphi Indy 300.

With a fast lap of 221.708mph in 24.6811, Billy Boat captured a fourth place starting position for tomorrow's Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

"We have to be happy with a fourth place Qualifying position," says Boat."Not being able to test here and with limited track time, we didn't spend very much time working on our qualifying set-up. This was a really good run for the Curb Records team. It puts us up in the front; we'll be able to be in the lead draft and I think that's going to be a key here. We spent a lot of practice time focusing on our race setup, trying to make sure we have a good car for the race, so I'm looking forward to it."

The Chicagoland Speedway is considered by many to be a" horsepower" track, a designation which Boat acknowledges but is quick to warn is only part of the secret of success."It's going to take a good race car in traffic, a car that will run fast behind another car or be able to tow the line. With the TWR Infiniti engine, we've got a good package which is definitely an advantage, but you still need to have a good race car and we still need to execute the pits & not make any mistakes."

The CURB/Agajanian/Boat Indy Race team has had two days of good practices in preparation for the 300-mile race with the #98 finishing in the Top 5 of each practice session. After a season full of frustrations, the early success at Chicagoland gives the team some added optimism. Says Billy Boat,"We've taken the team up a notch since the beginning of the season, we've improved a lot and with the addition of Infiniti power, we've really got the potential for bigtriumphs. But, we've had some bad luck, so we don't have a lot of results to show for it. That's what we're hoping for in these last two races-- put up some big numbers and have some good finishes."

The team has learned though, that a good practice doesn't always mean a good result. Boat states it simply,"This qualifying effort was a good run for the CURB Records team. We have a good race car. I think the CURB Records car will be up front during the race, but we need a good finish here. I think that's what we came here thinking and if we can bring this car home for a Top 5 finish or better, we're going to be happy."

Boat will start the race on the inside of outside of Row 2, next to Al Unser, Jr.. Sam Hornish, Jr. captured his second pole of the season and rookie Buddy Rice will be on the outside of Row 1.

The team has Final Practice at 6:00pm EDT today, followed by a public autograph session for the fans. The Delphi Indy 300 can be seen live on ABC beginning at 1:00pm EDT on Sunday, September 8."Indy Racing 2Day" pre-race coverage starts at noon EDT on ESPN2. As always, live timing and scoring of all on-track activity can be found on www.indyracing.com.

-cab-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Billy Boat , Buddy Rice , Sam Hornis