RICHARD ANTINUCCI QUALIFIES IN P9 FOR TOMORROW'S FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS DECIDER AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY Current points leader and pole sitter Raphael Matos aims to defend his 4-point cushion from Sam Schmidt Motorsports' driver simple ...
RICHARD ANTINUCCI QUALIFIES IN P9 FOR TOMORROW'S FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS DECIDER AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY
Current points leader and pole sitter Raphael Matos aims to defend his 4-point cushion from Sam Schmidt Motorsports' driver simple race strategy: get past the Brazilian rival in round 16
SATURDAY'S NOTES :
* JOLIET, IL. - The 1.5 mile Chicagoland oval track hosts the deciding round of racing in the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season. Today the Lucas Oil Lifelock #7 machine took the track next-to-last in the qualifying order, and Richard Antinucci posted laps of 29.0430 and 29.0948 seconds, which translated on a 2-lap average speed of 188.242mph, ninth best in the 24-car field. The 27-year old San Diego resident is the only driver who still has an actual chance to snatch from Brazil's Raphael Matos grip the 2008 crown.
* The AFS/Andretti Green driver had completed his attempt three spots before Antinucci, displacing provisional leader Ana Beatriz from pole setting an average speed of 190.250mph. The female driver managed to keep the second fastest speed, therefore tomorrow's 67-lap race will have an all-Brazilian front row. Grabbing the pole Matos was also awarded the point avalaible for this accomplishment and therefore he moved up to 472 points, 4 ahead of Antinucci -- who is to find alongisde him on Row 5 2007 winner Logan Gomez. ESPN2 will broadcast the season finale for the Firestone Indy Lights live with coverage beginning at noon (EDT) on Sunday, September 7.
* "I thought we had a little more. In testing this morning we ended up pretty well in qualifying trim, but the race is what counts and that's what we spent most of our time doing. Tomorrow is when it's all decided. I have to go forward, right? We've seen from the first race at Homestead that we are slower in qualifying but a little more solid in the race. Rafa got an extra point today, we just need to go out tomorrow and win the damned thing. It's attack. I need to move as far ahead as I can. There's not much to lose. We have to go for the win. Hopefully it will be a clean fight and it should be really exciting. Matos was sitting on pole at Homestead, Kentucky and Chicago this year, and at the end of the Homestead and Kentucky rounds I was in front of him in the standings. I have to do that again at Chicagoland tomorrow. This track has a tradition of hosting nail-biters: 4 of 6 races have had a margin of victory of less than 0.1 second: I have to do my best to keep this tradition alive!"