IRL: Kansas: Robby McGehee qualifying report

McGehee and the Beck Motorsports crew rebound from crash to qualify 22nd Saturday at Kansas. KANSAS CITY, Kan., July 6 - Robby McGehee rebounded from a crash in practice Friday to qualify 22nd Saturday afternoon for Sunday's Ameristar Casino...

McGehee and the Beck Motorsports crew rebound from crash to qualify 22nd Saturday at Kansas.

KANSAS CITY, Kan., July 6 - Robby McGehee rebounded from a crash in practice Friday to qualify 22nd Saturday afternoon for Sunday's Ameristar Casino Indy 200 Indy Racing League event at Kansas Speedway.

His official qualifying speed was at an average of 210.878 mph around the 1.5-mile track in the Norwalk Furniture/Parsons Motorsports Dallara Chevy #54 fielded by Beck Motorsports.

McGehee wasn't hurt in the Friday-afternoon tussle with the turn-four wall, which occurred at 5:14 p.m., but the Beck Motorsports crew had to work all night in order to get the car ready for Saturday's MBNA Qualifications.

"Accumulating all the parts was the hardest part," said team owner Greg Beck. "We had to replace all of the right-side suspension, we replaced the bell housing, we had to replace the brakes on the right side, we needed a new right front and a new right rear wing, and we changed the engine too. The engine change was planned; that wasn't part of the repairs for the accident.

"Some of the other teams helped, Team Menard in particular," Beck continued. "We left the track at 3:30 a.m. Our hotel is about a half-hour away. We took a little breather and then we were back here at the track at 10 minutes after 7 this morning."

McGehee was most appreciative of the team's hard work, and he said the car was perfect for qualifications. He expected to simply shake the car down on his qualifying run and hold on, but he said the car felt fine on Saturday.

"The set-up we qualified with is where we wish we'd started yesterday; the car was perfect for qualifying," McGehee said. "The balance was fine and it had a lot of downforce. Yesterday I tried to go faster than the car was capable of going and we crashed. I want to say a big thank you to Greg Beck and the entire Beck Motorsports crew for staying up all night to put the car back together. I also want to thank Ray Parsons for giving us this opportunity; we're all trying to give him the good performances that he deserves."

The car had a big push on Friday before the accident.

"We were working on getting a big push out of the car," McGehee explained after being examined and released from the infield care center. "It was pushing really bad, especially in turns three and four. I thought we'd fixed it, but I went straight into the wall in turn four. I didn't hit hard, but anything at that speed looks hard and does damage. I'm fine though."

Prior to that McGehee ran 35 laps in the first practice session Friday. His fastest lap in that session was his next-to-last one, at 210.193 mph.

The weather is playing a role in all the activities at Kansas Speedway this weekend, as it's oppressively hot. During qualifications the ambient temperature was 91 degrees with a relative humidity of 44 percent, and the track temperature was 143 degrees.

Tomorrow there is a practice session at 8:30 a.m. local time prior to the 200-lap/300-mile race at noon.

The race will be televised live on ABC at 1 p.m. EDT tomorrow. A live pre-race show, "Indy Racing 2Day," will be televised an hour earlier on ESPN2.

-bm/lm-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby McGehee