Panther Driver Dillon Battistini Captures Pole Position at Indianapolis Teammate Brent Sherman Will Roll off Seventh for Tomorrow's Freedom 100 Indianapolis, Ind. (May 22, 2008) - Panther Racing driver Dillon Battistini earned the pole...
Panther Driver Dillon Battistini Captures Pole Position at Indianapolis
Teammate Brent Sherman Will Roll off Seventh for Tomorrow's Freedom 100
Indianapolis, Ind. (May 22, 2008) - Panther Racing driver Dillon Battistini earned the pole position for the Firestone Indy Lights Freedom 100 in his first trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Battistini, who qualified in the first position with a speed of 188.397 mph, won the pole by a mere .003 seconds.
Delphi National Guard driver Brent Sherman will start in the seventh position after posting a two-lap average speed of 187.533 mph.
The pole was the first of the season for the Firestone Indy Lights rookie, who is thrilled to be starting up front in Indianapolis. Battistini, the driver of the No. 15 Alexp machine, was the 12th car to make a qualifying effort and had to wait while 15 other drivers made their qualifying attempts. Panther teammate Sherman was the 25th car to make an attempt, and the former NASCAR driver put his No. 16 Delphi National Guard car on the inside of the fourth row.
Battistini won the season opening race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and currently ranks third in the Indy Lights points standings. Sherman is just behind his teammate in seventh in the standings, and has a best finish of third at Miami's 1.5-mile oval.
The Firestone Indy Lights Freedom 100 will be held tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 as part of their coverage of Miller Lite Carb Day and on the IMS Radio Network.
Dillon Battistini, No. 15 AlexP Firestone Indy Lights:
"It means a lot to start on the pole here. It is the biggest race on the schedule, and if I had to choose one race to get the pole, this would be it. Starting up front is important here, and we have to capitalize on the position and convert it into a victory. I was anxious watching the other drivers qualify after me. Particularly because the track was cooling down, and in theory that should lead to quicker times. I especially paid attention when (Panther teammate) Brent (Sherman) was qualifying because he's a good driver and we had the same set-up."
Brent Sherman, No. 16 Delphi National Guard Firestone Indy Lights
"It's a good day for Panther, but I'm a little disappointed with the qualifying effort. The car was good, but we were just a little bit off. Tomorrow is a different story though. I'm excited to be racing in Indianapolis during the weekend of the Indy 500. We have a good racecar and that is what counts. Congratulations to Dillon, but tomorrow we want to be in victory lane."