Kansas: AJ Foyt Racing qualifying report

Vitor Meira to Start Sixth at Kansas KANSAS CITY April 30--Vitor Meira posted a four-lap average speed of 210.67mph to qualify sixth in the ABC Supply Dallara/Honda for the RoadRunner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway this afternoon. It is ...

Vitor Meira to Start Sixth at Kansas

KANSAS CITY April 30--Vitor Meira posted a four-lap average speed of 210.67mph to qualify sixth in the ABC Supply Dallara/Honda for the RoadRunner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway this afternoon. It is his best start in nine events with A.J. Foyt Racing and the team's best start since Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified the No. 14 in seventh place at Toronto last year.

With regard to oval track qualifying, the team has posted its best start at this track since 2002 when another Brazilian, Airton Dare qualified sixth and went on to win the race!

"It's good to be back where I think the ABC Supply team belongs," Meira said afterwards. "This is a substantial improvement from last year and that's where we want to be. If we maintain this pace throughout the season, it's definitely going to be a good way to get better every race. We have to build on what we have now, we have to improve always, but I'm pleased with today. If every weekend goes like it's going right now, we'll do very good."

Ryan Briscoe won the pole with a speed of 212.14mph followed by Scott Dixon (211.29mph), Dario Franchitti (211.23mph), Hideki Mutoh (211.03mph), Alex Tagliani (210.98mph) and then Meira. Two drivers' times were disallowed due to infractions during their run when they dipped below the white line. They were Dan Wheldon, who qualified third fastest, and Marco Andretti, who'd qualified ninth quickest before being disqualified.

Rain early in the day curtailed on-track activities to one 90-minute practice session for the 27 cars entered, including six rookies. There was only one wall-banging incident when Mario Romancini lost control and tagged the wall between turns three and four of the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Qualifying followed an hour after the late afternoon practice session.

Meira's record at Kansas Speedway is impressive. He has finished in the top 10 every time he has finished the race: second in 2004, third in 2005 and 2006 and eighth in 2007. In 2003 and 2008 he was out early with mechanical problems. Last year he was running strong when Helio Castroneves punted Meira from behind knocking him out after 14 laps. In 2002, the Foyt team won the doubleheader at Kansas Speedway with Dare winning the IndyCar race and A.J. Foyt IV winning the Indy Lights race.

Meira concluded: "It's been a good weekend thanks to all of the work the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing team did over the winter and now with Jeff Britton [chief engineer] helping us out, he's very experienced so it's been a good weekend. I hope it keeps getting better."

-source: ajfr

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Airton Daré , A.J. Foyt IV , Alex Tagliani , Dario Franchitti , Dan Wheldon , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Ryan Briscoe , Marco Andretti , Hideki Mutoh , A.J. Foyt , Mario Romancini , Vitor Meira