IRL: Fontana: Cheever Racing qualifying report

Fontana, CA (October 2, 2004) Red Bull Cheever Racing's Ed Carpenter grabbed top-Chevy honors with an 11th place qualifying position for tomorrow's Toyota Indy 400. Carpenter, the 23-year old rookie from Indianapolis, lapped the 2-mile D-shaped...

Fontana, CA (October 2, 2004) Red Bull Cheever Racing's Ed Carpenter grabbed top-Chevy honors with an 11th place qualifying position for tomorrow's Toyota Indy 400.

Carpenter, the 23-year old rookie from Indianapolis, lapped the 2-mile D-shaped oval at 214.086mph.

"Going into qualifying we weren't too sure how we were going to end up, but we had the goal to reach 214mph and we just barely squeaked by," Carpenter said. "Overall, Chevy gave us all a better engine for this race and I could definitely tell during qualifying, but it seems that Toyota got some extra help too, so we'll see where we stand tomorrow."

Despite the strong California winds blowing, the 23-year old was able to hold his line and log quicker speeds than his fellow rookie drivers.

"The wind made everyone's qualifying runs a little bit tricky because you had to try and anticipate which way the wind was going to take you," Carpenter explained. "It pushed me into Turn 1 harder, that's for sure. It's a very fine line to walk between staying on the track and running right off."

California native Alex Barron was not far off from his teammate with a 213.815mph fast lap, but still wished the No. 51 crew could have had a better run than their 16th place starting position.

"Not our best qualifying run, but not our worst either," Barron said. "I was surprised by how fast some of the morning speeds were. We didn't expect to have one of the highest speeds for qualifying, but were hoping for just a little bit better than where we ended up. It all comes down to tomorrow and in order to win the race, you have to be able to run fast the whole race, not just a few laps."

Tomorrow's Toyota Indy 400 will be Barron's seventh attempt to capture the checkered flag in front of his hometown crowd. The 200-lap race will air live on at 3pm (EDT) on ESPN.

-cr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Barron , Ed Carpenter