IRL: Chicagoland: Panoz qualifying report

Danica Patrick takes third pole with "awesome" Panoz JOLIET, IL - Rookie Danica Patrick inherited the Marlboro Pole Award for her third pole position of the 2005 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series season in late afternoon time trials. Although...

Danica Patrick takes third pole with "awesome" Panoz

JOLIET, IL - Rookie Danica Patrick inherited the Marlboro Pole Award for her third pole position of the 2005 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series season in late afternoon time trials.

Although Ryan Briscoe was quickest (217.133mph), he and his two Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates failed post-qualifying technical inspection and are relegated to the rear of the 23-car field that will contest the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean on the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway banked oval.

Patrick the fourth driver to take timed laps turned in a tour of 215.970mph with her #16 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Panoz/Honda/Firestone challenger, making her extremely pleased after only being 20th in the earlier dual practice sessions.

"This is a pretty easy track to go flat," Patrick explained. "You have to have good power and you have to make sure the car is fast in a straight line. My Panoz is very good for qualifying and I don't know what it is that they do," she remarked of her Rahal Letterman Racing squad led by engineer Ray Leto. "They always improve my car and it's always solid and stuck to the track. That gives me a lot of confidence for qualifying. I like this track because it is very smooth and has three good lanes for racing," she remarked.

Teammate Buddy Rice will start alongside Patrick in the #15 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Panoz/Honda after taking a lap of 215.799mph. Rice, the 2004 Indianapolis 500 race winner was "flat out all the way around. It definitely helps that we tested here last week and the team was able to pick up some additional information," he said. "We've been pretty quick all weekend and our Panoz chassis program is a lot better."

Senior Panoz IRL design engineer Bruce Finwall concurred: "We never quit and we'll keep pushing forward for all of our teams," Finwall declared. "We continue to search for the best solutions for our teams in these three remaining races."

The Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean takes the green flags at 12:45PM CDT and should produce 200 laps of exciting oval racing in the heat of the afternoon. This 15th of 17 IndyCar Series contests airs live on ABC.

-emt-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Rice , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Danica Patrick
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing