SCOTT SHARP EARNS SEASON-BEST STARTING SPOT AT MILWAUKEE, SIMMONS' ACCIDENT KEEPS HIM OUT OF QUALIFYING MILWAUKEE- Scott Sharp ( ...
SCOTT SHARP EARNS SEASON-BEST STARTING SPOT AT MILWAUKEE, SIMMONS' ACCIDENT KEEPS HIM OUT OF QUALIFYING
MILWAUKEE- Scott Sharp (#8 Patron Dallara/Honda/Firestone) spent most of his morning motoring around the Milwaukee Mile in search of a strong race setup for this weekend's ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225, eschewing the opportunity to work on qualifying pace as it appeared that rains would wipe out today's IndyCar Series qualifying.
At first blush the gamble appeared to have been for naught as the rains never did visit the venerable Mile during a breezy Saturday, but Sharp made it pay off anyway as he steered his Rahal Letterman Racing machine to a season-best 11th-place starting spot.
Sharp carded a best time of 21.9150 seconds (166.735 mph) on his second qualifying lap to snare the 11th spot on the grid for Sunday's 225-mile race. The 11th place on the grid is not only Sharp's best starting spot of the 2007 season but also the best of his four previous trips to Milwaukee.
"We all pretty much thought that the rain would hit as did the league, so we spent our practice time working on our race setup, which was time well spent," Sharp said after posting his best time of the day during his qualifying run. "But because of that, we didn't spend much time on our qualifying setup, so we just trimmed it out, ran the low line and did what we could. I think we are going to have a good race car tomorrow though. We ran well in traffic with guys like Dixon, so I am looking forward to tomorrow."
Jeff Simmons (#17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone) was less fortunate on the day and will start 18th in tomorrow's event.
Simmons suffered an accident in the waning moments of Saturday's final practice session, which left him unable to compete in the two-lap qualifying session that took place at 3:30 p.m. local time. Simmons will start tomorrow's event on the outside of Row Nine, where he will grid alongside Danica Patrick.
Sharp is expected to make his IndyCar Series-record 127th consecutive start tomorrow, and will be looking for back-to-back top-10 finishes for the first time this season. Simmons will be looking to mimic his Milwaukee performance from a year ago where he scored the third top-10 finish of his IndyCar career.