IRL: Phoenix: Cheever Racing Friday report

Red Bull Cheever Racing: Phoenix Qualifying Report Avondale, Ariz. (March 18, 2005) -- Day one of the two-day IndyCar Series event at Phoenix International Raceway was busy and eventful for the Red Bull Cheever Racing crew. With practice and ...

Red Bull Cheever Racing: Phoenix Qualifying Report

Avondale, Ariz. (March 18, 2005) -- Day one of the two-day IndyCar Series event at Phoenix International Raceway was busy and eventful for the Red Bull Cheever Racing crew. With practice and qualifying packed into a single day, Red Bull Cheever Racing drivers Alex Barron and Patrick Carpentier will start the XM Satellite Radio Indy 200 from 16th and 20th positions.

Barron was first on track in qualifying, recording a best lap at an average speed of 172.377 mph (20.8845 seconds) in the No. 51 Red Bull Toyota. He will start tomorrow's 200-lap race from the eighth row of the 22-car starting grid.

"We duplicated what we did in practice by ourselves and we are pretty happy with that," Barron said. "I know we are going to need more speed. In practice earlier today we had a really good race car, so we are looking forward to a better day tomorrow."

Carpentier had an eventful day in his first IndyCar Series event at Phoenix International Raceway. In the second practice session, while simulating a qualifying run, his car hit the wall at turn two. Carpentier walked away from the accident, but went to the local hospital for precautionary chest and rib x-rays which showed no injuries.

"I was pushing the car to the limit," Carpentier said. "We were trying to make it very neutral so I wouldn't lose too much time mid-corner. We made it a little bit too neutral and it just snapped. When I corrected it, it bit me and went straight to the wall. I am just so disappointed. We will keep pushing hard but we will be a little more careful next time."

Carpentier suffered from nothing more than a bruised rib in the fiery crash. He was cleared to drive in tomorrow's race by Dr. Henry Bock, IRL senior director of medical services. The impact of the accident could have been much worse if not for the installation of the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction system) Barrier at Phoenix International Raceway.

"I was amazed because I am used to hitting the wall without the SAFER barrier," Carpentier said. "I was expecting a much bigger hit than that, it was still big, but the barrier cushioned the hit. It does its job very well."

Carpentier was unable to participate in the qualifying session which took place less than two hours after the accident. He will start after all qualified cars from the 20th position. His best practice lap of the day was 172.726 mph (20.8423 seconds.)

Round two of the 17-race 2005 IRL IndyCar Series championship is Saturday, March 19 with the XM Satellite Radio Indy 200 Presented by Argent Mortgage at 3 p.m. (EST.) The race will be televised live on ABC and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network and indycar.com.

-www.redbullcheeverracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Barron