St. Pete: Vision Racing qualifying report

VISION RACING QUALIFIES ON STREETS OF ST. PETE FOR INDYCAR SERIES SEASON-OPENER ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 4, 2009) - Vision Racing drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ed Carpenter will start from the 14th and 22nd positions, respectively, tomorrow ...

VISION RACING QUALIFIES ON STREETS OF ST. PETE FOR INDYCAR SERIES SEASON-OPENER

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 4, 2009) - Vision Racing drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ed Carpenter will start from the 14th and 22nd positions, respectively, tomorrow afternoon on the Streets of St. Petersburg for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Hunter-Reay's best lap in the No. 21 Vision Racing Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine for qualifying came in at a time of 1:03.0223 and an average speed of 102.821 mph.

While this will be Hunter-Reay's first race with Vision Racing, he drove on the streets of St. Petersburg in the city's Honda Grand Prix for the first time last year where he started sixth and finished in the 17th spot.

Driving the No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Honda powered Dallara Carpenter's top lap time in qualifying came in at 1:04.2416and an average speed of 100.869 mph.

Carpenter's first drive on the streets of St. Petersburg was in 2005 when he finished 19th when he and the team made their street/road course debut. The following year, Carpenter missed the event due to injury sustained in the morning warm-up in the previous race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Roberto Moreno served as Carpenter's substitute along side Tomas Scheckter. In 2007, Carpenter retired early in 18th after a 16th place start due to contact initiated by teammate A.J. Foyt IV while running in 13th place. Just last season Carpenter started from the 21st spot, drove as high as seventh and finished the race running in the 18th spot.

In four prior trips to the Streets of St. Petersburg, the team's best team's best finish on the Streets of St. Pete came in 2007 when Scheckter finished sixth. Scheckter also has the team's best start there when he started eighth in both 2006 and 2007.

Ed Carpenter - No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"Some things were better and some things were worse for us out there. Overall we improved a little, but I need to be running in the 63s [seconds] and that's just not happening right now. We're just lacking a lot of grip all around the track. We will just have to focus on running a clean race and improving the car as we go tomorrow. If we can do that, then we will be able to give ourselves the opportunity to have a decent finish."

Ryan Hunter-Reay - No.21 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"I'll have to keep reminding myself of the time frame we are dealing with here. That car was sitting in a corner of the Vision Racing shop since the last race of 2008 until just seven days ago. Now it's running competitive lap times with guys that are qualifying in the top six so I am happy with how things are going. The Vision team has done an amazing job trying to get us ready in such a short amount of time. Where we are right now is where we should have been when we rolled off the truck on Friday if we had had any testing. We could have made that last qualifying session but we bottomed out a little bit and a lock up cost us the two tenths of a second that would have made the difference. It's those little things we have to work out. If we had another session of practice we'd jump another half second. We're just going to go out and get some valuable points tomorrow. This crew has never done a pit stop together and everything is new so we have to have the appropriate expectations. "

-credit: vr

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , A.J. Foyt IV , Roberto Moreno , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Ed Carpenter