IRL: Nazareth: Robby McGehee qualifying report

McGehee Qualifies 20th Saturday for Sunday's Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth. NAZARETH, Pa., April 20 - St. Louis's Robby McGehee qualified 20th Saturday at Nazareth Speedway for Sunday's Firestone Indy 225. The inaugural Indy Racing League...

McGehee Qualifies 20th Saturday for Sunday's Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth.

NAZARETH, Pa., April 20 - St. Louis's Robby McGehee qualified 20th Saturday at Nazareth Speedway for Sunday's Firestone Indy 225.

The inaugural Indy Racing League event at this 1-mile oval is the final race before the Indy 500 on May 26th.

McGehee, who was the first of the 24 drivers to take time, ran a lap in 20.0435 seconds for an average speed of 167.935 mph for his official time. The Cahill Racing Scottrade.com/Dollar-Rent-a-Car Dallara Chevy #10, which also carries a decal for the Clarion Hotel of Phillipsburg, N.J. for this race, will start on the outside of row 10 beside the G-Force Infiniti of Sarah Fisher tomorrow. As a coincidence, their cars are side-by-side in the garage area too.

McGehee's second lap was just a bit slower, as he was clocked in 20.0623 seconds that time.

Showcasing the competitiveness of the IRL, only 1.7997 seconds separated the polesitter, Gil de Ferran, from the driver who will start in scratch, John de Vries.

Sunday's race will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern time, preceded by a half-hour pre-race show at 12:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.

"I think we lost out a little there because of the rubber on the track from the USAC Silver Crown cars," noted McGehee after qualifying. The USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown cars concluded their qualifying session right before the IRL cars began their MBNA Qualifications.

"Then it drizzled a little bit on top of that, which didn't help either," McGehee added. "But the Cahill Racing team has been working very hard and the balance of our car is very good. I think the Scottrade.com car will be a good-handling car during the race, which is very important.

"Everybody says this is a race of survival," he elaborated. "We want to stay in there, give it our best shot and be there at the finish."

This event marks the first time that McGehee has even seen this track, which is very unique due to its angles and elevation changes. It's more like a road course in many ways than an oval.

"This is definitely the most crazy track I've ever raced on," McGehee said after his first laps here in practice on Friday. "The Scottrade/Dollar Rent-a-Car/Clarion Hotel Dallara has a push, but we're working on it. We're behind the eightball because we didn't test, but I'm happy that we're in the ballpark."

He was beginning to get more comfortable Friday afternoon.

"We picked up a lot of speed in that [practice] session, but unfortunately I think everybody else did too," he said. "I finally found the best line through turn three. It took me awhile, but I think I know the best way through there now."

-cr/lm-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby McGehee , Sarah Fisher , Gil de Ferran , John de Vries