Fort Worth, TX: The qualifying process at the Texas Motor Speedway proved tumultuous for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series this week. After canceling Thursday evening due to possible suspension problems within the G-Force teams, the ...
Fort Worth, TX: The qualifying process at the Texas Motor Speedway proved tumultuous for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series this week. After canceling Thursday evening due to possible suspension problems within the G-Force teams, the postponement procedures were also a "wash" as rain swept through the Dallas/Forth Worth area today, forcing the sanctioning body to qualify the field by the current point standings.
Under this ruling, Treadway Racing drivers Robby McGehee and Shigeaki Hattori will start tomorrow's race from 14th and 26th positions, respectively. Both drivers were able to make their qualifying runs today before the rain hit-however, as there were eight remaining drivers to qualify-the series was forced to wipe the slate clean and declare all starting positions by points.
McGehee, who will start on the outside of row seven in his #5 Mall.com G-Force ran strongly in this morning's warm up and was running competitively in seventh. While the cancellation of qualifications was a disappointment, he believes that it will not affect race strategy. "It's a long race and the track provides great opportunities for three and four wide racing," stated the 26-year-old talent. "We'll just use the car to get up to the front and get the best finish we can. The lack of track time hasn't really hurt us any because we have a great car and I think we are in great shape for the race."
Japanese driver Shigeaki Hattori-new to the Treadway Racing team-is making his Indy Racing Northern Light Series debut this weekend in his #55 Epson G-Force, so he is forced to start on the outside of row 13, since he has not accumulated any previous points. The lack of track time was not optimum for the open-wheel veteran, but Hattori has had plenty of testing time on the Texas oval and feels comfortable with his car. "I was happy with my qualifying efforts today-we were flat all the way around the track, and the car ran well. I am disappointed with our starting position, but that is just the way the system works and I am sure that we will have a great car to take us to the front."
Due to one final downpour at the end of the day, the teams of the Northern Light Series were unable to run their final practice session today. It has been rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon preceding the 7:00 p.m. local start of the Casino Magic 500.