IRL: Nashville: AGR, Herta Friday report

Herta Puts XM Satellite Radio Car Third on Nashville Grid with Career-Best IndyCar Series Qualifying Run. LEBANON, Tenn. (July 16, 2004) - XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta turned a lap of 200.955 miles per hour (23.2888 seconds) during ...

Herta Puts XM Satellite Radio Car Third on Nashville Grid with Career-Best IndyCar Series Qualifying Run.

LEBANON, Tenn. (July 16, 2004) - XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta turned a lap of 200.955 miles per hour (23.2888 seconds) during Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series qualifying today at Nashville Superspeedway, which earned him the third starting position for tomorrow night's running of the Firestone Indy 200.

Herta, who currently stands fifth in the series point standings, set a new personal IndyCar Series qualifying standard with today's effort. His previous best was a fifth-place starting spot in last year's event at Nazareth Speedway. Herta also enters tomorrow's race as one of the series' hottest drivers, having scored top-five finishes in three of the last four events.

Honda-powered machines took the top five positions for the Firestone Indy 200, led by Buddy Rice, who won his fourth pole of the 2004 season with a lap of 201.231 miles per hour. His teammate, Vitor Meira, was second at 200.967 miles per hour. Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon will roll off fourth, while Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan starts fifth. ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti qualified seventh, which put all four Andretti Green Racing entries in the front four rows of the grid.

Tomorrow night's race goes green at 7 p.m. (Eastern) and airs live on ESPN.

Bryan Herta, #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"My run was good. I had a little bit of trouble getting up to speed. The XM Satellite Radio car was sliding a little bit, even on my first qualifying lap, but then the grip came up on the second lap. Unfortunately, I was in the wrong gear on the first lap and I shifted on the second lap, which I needed to do. But, man, if I'd have been in the right gear I think we'd have had them."

George Klotz, Team Manager, #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"We certainly wanted the pole, but we're very happy with what went on in qualifying. We'll take third. We tried hard to qualify well and I think we did it. We can't be disappointed. That was a great job by Bryan, Martin and the whole XM Satellite Radio crew."

-AGR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Jim Beam , Vitor Meira