Will Power puts Chevrolet on the pole for Baltimore Grand Prix

BALTIMORE (September 1, 2012) – For the fifth time this season, Will Power has put his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on the pole of an IZOD IndyCar Series race. With a blistering lap of 1:17.9750 at 94.184 m.p.h. around the 2.04-miles, 13-turn temporary street course on the Streets of Baltimore, Power grabbed his second consecutive Grand Prix of Baltimore pole position.

Will Power, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Covy Moore

Power, the current Series’ points leader, also won the pole at the Streets of St. Petersburg, the Streets of Sao Paulo Brazil, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and last weekend at Sonoma Raceway.

Also making the Firestone Fast Six was Sebastien Bourdais, No. 7 TrueCar/McAfee Dragon Racing Chevrolet, who posted the fourth quickest time. And, James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, with the sixth quickest time of the final session


WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – POLE WINNER; AN IMPORTANT DAY IN QUALIFYING, THE BONUS POINT AND FRONT-ROW STARTING POSITION. TALK ABOUT TODAY'S QUALIFYING RUN; :It was just minimal time on the track the last couple days. We knew we had a pretty good setup. I was a little worried after practice we were only 15th, only got a couple laps. I was determined to get pole. I needed another point toward the championship, definitely helps. Starting at the front lowers the percentages of getting involved in an incident in the first lap. Yeah, need to focus ahead now. Got that out of the way. See what we can do tomorrow.”

WILL, WHEN THEY THROW A CHICANE IN OVERNIGHT AFTER THE FIRST DAY, HOW QUICK DO YOU GUYS GET THAT NEW CORNER? IS IT SOMETHING THAT COMES FAST OR DO YOU NEED FIVE OR TEN LAPS? “I mean, the way they built it, it was very easy to pick up. I suggested that they put tires on the inside so you can't just run over them. You feel obligated, too, because other people are. So you feel like if you want to get through each round, you've got to attack that bloody chicane, take a risk. It's just a quick thing that was put in. So I don't know, I mean, it's a third-gear corner now. It's not bad. As it stands right now, I think you could go around on someone and they (indiscernible) be passing.”

THIS IS THE SECOND RACE, YOU'RE ON THE POLE FOR THE SECOND TIME. WHAT IS IT WITH YOU AND THIS TRACK? “I think we have good cars. Drive for Penske is the biggest thing. Get the best equipment.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS NO. 7 TRUECAR-MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 4TH; THIS YOUR SECOND CONSECUTIVE FIRESTONE FAST SIX APPEARANCE. TALK ABOUT BOUNCING BACK FROM LAST WEEK AT SONOMA. “I wish I wasn't bouncing so much. Would hurt less (laughter). Yeah, it's a tough break. Obviously Sonoma was looking great. The guys had done an awesome job. The easiest part was left to go because we were on brand-new red tires. I don't know if it's just going off the race line with Josef in the hairpin that caused what happened. For sure when I turned, nothing happened. That was a pretty bad accident where the top didn't stay together and I got a very big hit inside the car. I'm physically pretty hurt right now. I don't know how it's going to play out for tomorrow. I talked to the boys. They've given me a great car. Hopefully we can put it together tomorrow.”

DO WE HAVE TO ANALYZE EVERY PLACE THERE'S AN OPENING IN THE WALL? DO YOU THINK THAT NEEDS TO BE A POINT OF EMPHASIS? “I think every time you have to make a quick fix to a situation, like we've had to do this weekend, you can't think about everything that's going to happen, how quick it's going to be through the chicane. The initial time was great, to eliminate that chicane, create passing, it didn't work out. After that, you have to switch to Plan B, you can get it right or you can get it wrong. The way we blend on exit, with the wall coming at you, I think it probably is going to require a bit of thinking overnight.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 TEAM GODADDY.COM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 6TH; "Good to be back (in the Firestone Fast Six) I guess. We have had a bit of drop in performace. Some of it self induced some of it bad luck in a couple places. Its great to be back here in Baltimore. This event was such a success last year, and we were very happy that the race could be saved and Andretti Sport Marketing stepped up and to help kick it off. We had a bit of an interesting day yesterday just sort of dealing with some of things you deal with in a street circuit. I think everybody cooperated well and communicated well and I think that was important. Now we have a race track that I think we are pretty cool to being able to race on. And so with a little bit of the practice that we had. Being a little wet this morning, we are pleased with what we were able to come up with for the GoDaddy Chevy."

YOU GUYS ARE RETURNING FOR THE SECOND YEAR AND YOU'RE WELCOME HERE TO BALTIMORE. BEING BACK FOR THE SECOND YEAR, IS IT MORE OF A CHALLENGE WITH THE COURSE OR BECAUSE YOU RACED IT, IT'S EASIER FOR YOU? “No, I think any time you come back to a circuit, it's definitely easier than year one. We had some changes to the track which we had to deal with through turn five then obviously sort of the fluid situation over the train tracks. Even turn five was different today than it was yesterday. We're always being thrown curve balls. 90% of the track remained unchanged not only from last year to this year but from first practice to qualifying. It's easier than learning a brand-new circuit”

ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S PREMIUM ULTRA VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 11TH, HIS BEST OF THE 2012 SEASON; “Funny thing about getting airborne at the chicane. I was making up time in the chicane. So I tried to make up more time there and I just kept getting more aggressive through that area. You know it’s a risky situation through that part of the track. Many guys were hitting the wall in that section. I just got a little too much curbing and the car went flying. Luckily we landed straight and I kept going. We transferred out of the first round of qualifying with a little bit of luck. But we’ll take it. We haven’t had the best breaks in qualifying this year. In the second session, we tried to improve the car a bit and I was pushing hard. We almost gained a couple of spots at the end. So it was a very good day for Ed Carpenter Racing and the Fuzzy’s Vodka crew. It feels good to give them a good qualifying effort this time. It has been difficult this weekend because the track has been different with each session. That has made it hard for everyone. It’s the reason you have seen so many incidents too. Everyone is trying to get up to speed so quickly with a small amount of time.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 28 TEAM DHL/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT – QUALIFIED 13TH; "We can manage this. Now we have two new sets of reds (Firestone alternate tires) and there are some engine penalties in front of us. We can manage it, but we really stepped on our own foot tody. That's what you get for going out the latest. We went out latest out of anybody and gave ourselves absolutely no magin for error on a red flag happening. It's part of the qualifying risk on street courses. You don't find this on ovals more on street circuits. It's part of the beast, you wait until the last possible moment to get the most rubber down on the track and obviously get the best lap time out of the car, and we got bit by that. But, this is the first time we'll have two sets of new reds in along time so maybe that will be to our advantage. We have to look at the positives and this DHL/Sun Drop team has become really good at doing that lately."

RYAN BRISCOE, NO. PPG AUTOMOTIVE REFINISHES TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 14TH; “The No. 2 PPG machine ran great today and it's upsetting that we weren't able to advance, but that's how competitive this series is. We have a really strong car and we'll see what we can do with it tomorrow.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 16TH; “I’m a little frustrated because I know the Penske Truck Rental team gave me a great car today and I was looking forward to qualifying. With what happened in the first session I wanted to make sure we had enough time but I didn’t get much space between me and Justin. I slowed down on the lap that could have put us in the Fast Six and unfortunately pushed too hard the next lap. Now we have to refocus for tomorrow and go get a win.”

RUBENS BARRICHELLO, NO. 8 BMC/EMBRASE KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 17TH: “I am obviously disappointed. We had a competitive car all weekend, but I was only able to get one qualifying lap in before the red flag came out. Although I question the rules of IndyCar, the rules are the rules and therefore I was unable to have any more timed laps and we are where we are.”.

MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 26 TEAM DR. PEPPER ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 20TH; "We are just struggling a bit with set up and couldn't get the car to rotate, so thats where we lost time. I think tonight we'll look at going to a set up closer to what Hinch (James Hinchcliffe) is running and hopefully be ready to make up some spots tomorrow for the Dr Pepper TEN car."

E.J. VISO, NO. 5 CITGO/PDVSA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 24TH; “In this morning’s practice we continued with the problem we had yesterday with the brakes, so when I started my first run the rear locked up and I made contact with the wall damaging the left front of my car. I didn’t get any laps in that session and it put us behind because I didn’t have the chance to learn the two new corners that were put in place last night. I want to thank my crew for doing a great job repairing the car, but we went straight into qualifying under difficult circumstances and gave it my best. I was in a very competitive group, more competitive than the first group, which was going to make it very tough to get into the top six. My second lap, I brushed the wall and bent a toe link which ended my qualifying session. We will be starting in the back of the field tomorrow, which will give us some freedom to take some risks with our pit strategy in tomorrow’s race and I am looking for a great result.”

JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET – DNQ; “We didn’t qualify today and we’ll be starting last because I crashed this morning in practice. It’s a major bummer for the guys, obviously they’re having to work really hard to fix the car. It was just a particularly inopportune time to have that happen, especially with qualifying being back-to-back with that session and there’s just not that much time in between, so that’s certainly frustrating. I think we’ll consider our options today. There were a lot of guys that had very similar issues and accidents in qualifying today and they’ll be starting at the back with us. A lot of those guys are the ones that we’re fighting for position in the championship right now. So that’s kind of gone our way a bit. We’re in a position now where we have three sets of sticker red tires for tomorrow, and I think we’ve got some options when it comes to strategy. It’s not the optimal way to go into the race, but there are some small upsides that hopefully we’ll be able to take advantage of in tomorrow's race.”

Source; Team Chevy Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sébastien Bourdais , Will Power , James Hinchcliffe , Ed Carpenter
Teams Andretti Autosport , Team Penske , Dragon Racing
Article type Qualifying report
Tags andretti, barrichello, bourdais, briscoe, carpenter, chevrolet, hildebrand, hincliffe, hunter-reay, penske, power, viso