(Madison, Il): Championship leader Scott Dixon has put his car on the front row of the grid for tomorrow's 10th round of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship, despite remaining "conservative" in today's qualifying run at the Gateway International...
(Madison, Il): Championship leader Scott Dixon has put his car on the front row of the grid for tomorrow's 10th round of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship, despite remaining "conservative" in today's qualifying run at the Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Illinois.
Dixon, driver of the #17 Invensys/Powerware PacWest Lights entry, battled a lot of under steer in his qualifying run this afternoon after being advised of the changing track conditions by his teammate Tony Renna mid-way through the qualifying session.
Renna, driver of the #18 Motorola PacWest Lights entry, sprinted down pit lane after completing his own qualifying run and suggested to Dixon's crew that some last-minute changes should be considered because of the vast change in track conditions from the morning practice session. The Invensys/Powerware team chose to remain conservative and did not make any changes. Dixon also battled under steer in his two-lap qualifying sprint and missed his opportunity to claim pole position by 0.141 of a second.
Dixon had a 42-point lead over Bell coming into this weekend, but that advantage has been reduced to 41 after a point was awarded for pole position. Dixon needs to leave Gateway this weekend with a 43-point advantage to wrap-up the title with two rounds remaining. Renna has qualified eighth for tomorrow's race with a time of 29.231 seconds, but believes he has a racecar good enough to help him towards his sixth top-four finish in seven races.
SCOTT DIXON - # 17 INVENSYS/POWERWARE PACWEST LIGHTS -- 2nd Qualifying time: 28.766s
"I'm pretty disappointed with my qualifying position," said Dixon.
"We should have made an adjustment to the car before we went out. Tony (Renna) came down after his run to advise us of the conditions on the track, but we chose to remain conservative. My car usually gets better and better the more we run, so we're definitely looking forward to the race tomorrow. I battled a lot of under steer through turns 1 & 2, so we'll think about that tonight and come out strong for Sunday."
TONY RENNA - # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST LIGHTS -- 8th Qualifying Time: 29.231s
"I can't believe the amount of push we had for qualifying," said Renna.
"This is by far the worst my car has been, push wise, all weekend. I had a great car this morning and every change we made was geared towards correcting the push.
"Overall my car is still really good in traffic and I'm sure we can contend in the race. That's all I'm concerned about. I would have liked to have been higher on the grid, but I'll take what I have and concentrate on working my way up through the field on Sunday."
QUALIFYING TIMES: 1:Townsend Bell 28.625; 2: Scott Dixon 28.766; 3: Jeff Simmons 28.855; 4: Jason Bright 28.950; 5: Chris Menninga 29.044; 6: Felipe Giaffone 29.069; 7: Casey Mears 29.079; 8: Tony Renna 29.231; 9: Corey Witherill 29.281; 10: Rudy Junco 29.520.