IRL: Indy 500: Jimmy Vasser pole day notes

Vasser puts it in "The Show" Mller Lite car slotted 19th on grid for Indy. SPEEDWAY, IN . . . Rahal/Letterman Racing driver Jimmy Vasser qualified the Miller Lite car for the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 with a four-lap average of...

Vasser puts it in "The Show" Mller Lite car slotted 19th on grid for Indy.

SPEEDWAY, IN . . . Rahal/Letterman Racing driver Jimmy Vasser qualified the Miller Lite car for the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 with a four-lap average of 227.743 mph. Vasser will start on the inside of row seven for the May 26th race.

Vasser will be making his seventh career start in the Indy 500. The California native has a pair of fourth place finishes to his credit.

As has been the case all month rain threatened the on track proceedings but Pole Day continued with only a couple of brief interruptions.

Bruno Junqueira of Chip Ganassi Racing captured the pole by posting a four-lap average of 231.342 mph. Junqueira was the quickest of the 24 drivers who qualified on Saturday.

Qualifying for the May 26th Indianapolis 500 will continue, weather permitting, tomorrow afternoon. Once the field of 33 is filled the bumping process will begin.

Jimmy Vasser (#19 Miller Lite- Dallara/Chevrolet on Firestone tires) -"The conditions really changed when we went out today. I think the air got heavier. Because (Robbie) Buhl ran a 228 and (Laurent) Redon in the 227s and they were a couple of mile per hour faster earlier. I thought we could run in the low 229s or high 228s. But the conditions weren't there and now (Helio) Castroneves is much slower too. So they waved off in the heavy air. We weren't going for the pole anyway. We'll take it and we're happy to have the Miller Lite car back in the Indy 500. I know we have a good race car since it has been so solid all week. We'll be much more formidable in the race than in qualifying. The one thing that I like about this Miller Lite team is that they have given me a car that has been great to drive. Mechanically, the car is sound and we tried many different things. And that gives a driver a lot of confidence with a solid car. We're always looking for more speed and if we can get more speed for the race car that we help. You never know what can happen in qualifying. You can have a super fast car all week and then weird things can occur on Pole Day. There are no guarantees for this race. And my team owner knows exactly what I am talking about. It is a bit of a relief to be in the race and I think the team is too since they accepted the speed today. Being in a single car team this year, we couldn't pinpoint some of the problems we had in the beginning of the week. When you have more cars on a team, you can pinpoint the problems much quicker. You have other cars gaining information for you and that is big difference."

BOBBY RAHAL (co-owner of the No. 19 Miller Lite car) (1986 Indy 500 champion) - "We thought we would be faster but Jimmy was flat all the way around. I know he is disappointed. But with the why the weather has been this month, I think you can risk waiting to qualify. I think we are comfortably in now and we are going to get the car ready for the race. Look at Helio. He ran 232 earlier and now he can just get over 229. So if it is affecting his car that much, it really would affect our car. I am really pleased to be back here after seven years. It's good to be here with a guy like Jimmy. A very experienced guy with a cool head. It's a long, long race and the engines are fragile. But I'll put our crew up against anybody on pit stops and strategy in a 500-mile race."

-rlr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing