BOTH RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING DRIVERS SCORE TOP-10 STARTING SPOTS IN NASHVILLE LEBANON, Tennessee - The IndyCar Series picked up speed today at Nashville Superspeedway as qualifying times were the fastest seen in Tennessee in the last four years,...
BOTH RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING DRIVERS SCORE TOP-10 STARTING SPOTS IN NASHVILLE
LEBANON, Tennessee - The IndyCar Series picked up speed today at Nashville Superspeedway as qualifying times were the fastest seen in Tennessee in the last four years, and RLR drivers Jeff Simmons (#17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone) and Scott Sharp (#8 Patron Dallara/Honda/Firestone) did more than their part to help those gains in Friday's qualifying for this weekend's Firestone Indy 200.
After another day of steadily gaining speed during the two hours of practice that led into today's two-lap qualifying run, the RLR duo bagged top-10 starting spots for Saturday night's 200-lap battle around the 1.33-mile concrete Nashville Superspeedway.
Simmons led the charge for the Ohio-based Rahal Letterman Racing squad by snapping off a best time of 23.0192 seconds (203.309 mph), to score the ninth spot in the lineup. The run gave Simmons his third top-10 qualifying result of the year and his first since Iowa, where he tied his career-best starting spot of sixth.
"The car was pretty good," Simmons said. "I think that's a decent time for us and gives us a starting spot in the upper half of the field, which is a key because I am not sure how much passing we'll be able to do here tomorrow. The Team Ethanol guys did a great job setting up the car and I think we could have a good day on Sunday."
Sharp claimed the 10th spot on the grid for his fourth top-10 qualifying result in the last five starts, carding a best time of 23.0335 seconds (203.182 mph). The run today also marks the third consecutive season that Sharp has started in the top-10 at Nashville.
"The run was OK," told Sharp. "The Patron Rahal Letterman team has been working very hard today making a lot of changes and dialing the car in well for us. We freed the car up a little and it felt good. I think we'll have a real good car tomorrow. We can get up right behind guys and we're still pretty stable, so hopefully that will stay that way tomorrow and we can go to the front."
Scott Dixon is on the pole for Saturday's race, making him the first driver ever to win more than one pole on the Tennessee oval.