QUALIFYING AT RICHMOND RAINED OUT, VISION RACING TO START 10TH, 15TH AND 17TH RICHMOND, Virginia -- In spite of a good afternoon showing for Vision Racing at Richmond International Raceway, heavy rains this evening have canceled qualifying for...
QUALIFYING AT RICHMOND RAINED OUT, VISION RACING TO START 10TH, 15TH AND 17TH
RICHMOND, Virginia -- In spite of a good afternoon showing for Vision Racing at Richmond International Raceway, heavy rains this evening have canceled qualifying for the SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM, as well as put a damper on the team's starting positions for tomorrow evening's race.
Team drivers A.J. Foyt IV, Ed Carpenter and Tomas Scheckter were ninth, 10th and 13th quick, overall, after the afternoon practice sessions, and looking to be in good shape for evening qualifying. However, Mother Nature had different plans as rain showers moved through the greater Richmond, Virginia area and eventually rained out qualifying on the ¾-mile oval.
The cancellation was definitely a disappointment for Foyt and Carpenter as now the 19-car field will be taking the green flag in order based on IndyCar Series championship point standings.
Since Foyt and Carpenter are 17th and 15th in points, respectively, that's where they will start the race. The pair was actually aiming for their second straight top-10 starts in a week.
Their teammate, Scheckter, and the No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone will actually benefit from the precipitation as his 10th place point standings is a bit higher than he had run in practice today.
Scheckter has finished fourth at Richmond International Raceway twice, the first time occurring in his first attempt at the track in 2002 with Cheever Racing and in 2005 with Panther Racing. Last year, Scheckter started 12th and finished seventh for Vision Racing. He has a total of five starts at the ¾-mile oval.
Carpenter has three previous attempts at Richmond International Raceway where he's finished in the 16th spot due to an accident in 2004 with Cheever Racing and just outside of the top-10 in 2005 in the 12th position. Last year Carpenter had his best run at Richmond, starting 13th and finishing eighth. He will look to have a similar run again this year behind the wheel of the No. 20 Hitachi Power Tools special.
Foyt has three attempts at Richmond with A.J. Foyt Racing. In his debut to the oval in 2003 he started and finished 21st due an accident. The next two years Foyt was running at the finish as he started 21st in 2004 and finished 11th and in 2005 he started 17th and finished 14th. Foyt will be looking to score a new personal best finish at Richmond in his first attempt with Vision Racing in the No. 22 entry.
Tomas Scheckter -- No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On qualifying: "Of course, I always wish we could qualify, but since my practice times were not as quick as I would have liked them today, but at least we'll be starting in the top ten. So we will just look at what my teammates and I did today and put our best effort on the track tomorrow night. In the meantime, I've got my new iPhone to setup and play with so that will be the perfect way to spend a rainy evening."
Ed Carpenter -- No. 20 Hitachi Power Tools/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On qualifying: "It's unfortunate that qualifying got rained out, but I am confident in my car because we ran well today, so that's good. But, it's disappointing that we have to start further back because of points, which is a place we shouldn't be in the first place, but we are. And, this is a track you don't want to start in the back at, but like I said, the Hitachi Power Tools car was pretty good today so we'll see what we can do tomorrow night. I just wish we didn't have to work so hard driving from further back than we should.
A.J. Foyt IV -- No. 22 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
On qualifying: "I was really looking forward to qualifying. I thought we were going to have another good run this week. It's just too bad for Ed (Carpenter) and I because we had pretty good cars today and now since qualifying has rained out, we've got to start by points which isn't going to help us much. The guys worked hard again this week to give me another great car and they did, so I'm looking forward to driving in tomorrow night's race. I just wish we could get started from a little better position."