Greg Ray ...
Greg Ray #2 Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone Practice Notes/Quotes - Friday, April 30, 1999 Visionaire 500 Lowe's Motor Speedway - Charlotte, N.C.
Greg Ray captured his second consecutive Pep Boys Indy Racing League pole and third consecutive front-row starting spot in three tries this season with a track-record run of 24.32 seconds (an average of 222.039 mph) over the 1.5-mile tri-oval at the track formerly known as Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was the 11th pole for Team Menard in IRL competition. Ray's record run didn't come without its share of drama, however. Having drawn the 14th spot in the qualifying order, the #2 Glidden-Menards Dallara-Aurora had to go to the back of the line after the car did not meet the minimum ride height requirement in the pre-run tech inspection. In addition to being moved to the back of the line, he also was penalized one of the two customary qualifying hot laps. He earned a front-row starting spot at the Walt Disney World season opener under similar circumstances (gearbox trouble just prior to his qualifying run there forced him to the back of the line) in January. And he blistered the Phoenix International Raceway track record in winning his first career IRL pole last month. Race time is 8 p.m. EDT Saturday. It will be televised live on SpeedVision.
GREG RAY - "All I know is, I had one lap to get the pole, I wanted it, and I went for it. It was really strange because in all the hustle and bustle of fixing the ride height, we forgot to hook the radio up. On top of that, we had been having trouble with my telemetry all day, and I never saw my lap time readings. So I took the green flag, and when I came around and saw the No. 2 on top of the scoring tower, I knew we had the pole but still had no idea what my lap time was. You don't like to have just one lap to do it. We sure could've used a second lap at Orlando. It should be an interesting race tomorrow. It'll come down to the driver who can leave his foot on the gas and stay in control. We're way back in the points right now, so we've really got to go out and put together a complete race. This is our last race before (the) Indy (500). What better place to get us ready than Charlotte Motor Speedway."
THOMAS KNAPP (Team Manager) - "What goes through a guy's mind when you have to move to the back of the pack and do it all in one lap? Well, it didn't seem to phase Greg. He's one of the best qualifiers in the business. He's proven that time and again. We weren't incredibly worried. We did that same kind of lap in practice (earlier today) on the same lap count with 90 pounds of fuel in the car. I think we have a strong package for the race. The key will be to stay out of trouble."