IPS: Homestead: Saturday qualifying notes

Dana Wins Pole For Homestead-Miami 100 INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2004 -- In qualifying for the Menards Infiniti Pro Series, Paul Dana captured his first career pole with a lap of 28.1746, 189.745 in the No. 91 Ethanol/Hemelgarn ...

Dana Wins Pole For Homestead-Miami 100

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2004 -- In qualifying for the Menards Infiniti Pro Series, Paul Dana captured his first career pole with a lap of 28.1746, 189.745 in the No. 91 Ethanol/Hemelgarn Johnson Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone to win the top spot for the Homestead-Miami 100.

The first race of the season for the Indy Racing League development series starts at 11:45 a.m. It will be broadcast at 4 p.m. (EST) March 4 on ESPN2.

MENARDS INFINITI PRO SERIES QUALIFYING NOTES:

Paul Dana won the pole for the Homestead-Miami 100, his first career Menards Infiniti Pro Series pole. His previous best start was seventh in 2003 at Phoenix. It is also the first pole for Hemelgarn 91 Johnson Motorsports. The previous best was second by Cory Witherill in 2002 at Gateway and in 2003 at Pikes Peak.

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INFINITI PRO SERIES QUALIFYING QUOTES:

ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 5 Active Intl/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "The car was really good. Obviously, we just missed it by a few hundredths. It's a shame, but the car was handling great. I think we'll be there for the race, and that's the important thing."

ROLANDO QUINTANILLA (No. 10 Roquin Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It was OK. We missed one whole session practically last time, and we hadn't done a run on new tires. We did the bet that we could do. It's going to be a long race, and I think we'll be right in there. We got here late, and we were behind the 8-ball from the beginning. The deal came together late, and the team has worked very hard. I can't really complain."

PAUL DANA (No. 91 Ethanol/Hemelgarn Johnson Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone) : "It was a good run. I'm real happy. It's what we simulated, and it's what we expected, so we met our goal in qualifying. The car was perfect over the run. I'm ecstatic." (More quotes from Dana follow)

MATT BEARDSLEY (No. 12 Jugular Energy Drink/Landtitle Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car was fine. For some reason, we lost fuel pressure. We're not exactly sure what was causing that. It will be a long race."

JESSE MASON (No. 3 Segway Human Transportation Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): (About his first oval qualifying experience): "It's good. I kind of like this setup in qualifying, where you get a limited amount of laps. You just go out and go as fast as you can. It's quite interesting. I like it. Everything's been good so far. I'm still struggling a little bit down in (Turn) 3, but we have a good race car, and we should be all right in the race. It's going to be interesting. With the drafting, it's going to be a totally new experience for me. Hopefully, I'll get used to it in the first couple of laps and be able to get up near the front."

TONY TURCO (No. 33 BSR Cars Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "First of all, I'd like to thank Brian Stewart for allowing me this shot at getting in the car. It was kind of a late deal. We got a total of 16 laps, including qualifying."

MARTY ROTH (No. 4 Roth Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We've been chasing the car all over the place as it has warmed up a lot. The car is running great. The guys did a great job in anticipating the weather, keeping the car in the window. We're starting at a great spot."

PHIL GIEBLER (No. 2 Western Union Speed Team Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Today is definitely a learning day, my first race weekend. We're just trying to work little by little in the practice sessions. We're definitely not where we wanted to be for qualifying. I thought we would have been a little bit better. We've got to look at some things and make sure things are running right, just make sure it's OK for the race, and I'm sure we can race out there with all these guys out front."

BRAD POLLARD (No. 24 XBOX/ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We're still battling a bit of an engine problem. We're not sure what's going on. We'll have to look at the data. I was trying to take a low line as possible, but we're still having issues coming up to speed."

THIAGO MEDEIROS (No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's not bad, but it could be better. We have a very good car balance in the draft, so I'm not worried. It's going to be a very fun race for us. Now that they changed the track and increased the banking, it's going to be like Chicagoland or Kansas. Arie (Luyendyk Jr.) and I are teammates, and we can work together. You need to have a partner and go with him in order to get to the front. We're going to look at the data and put the race setup on the car for the warm-up. We'll see what happens."

HOMESTEAD-MIAMI 100 POLE SITTER QUOTES:

PAUL DANA (No. 91 Ethanol/Hemelgarn Johnson Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's an amazing feeling. Last year, I was a rookie in the series. I kind of bounced around the paddock a bit, trying to find a home, and fortunately, my Ethanol guys stuck with me. They have really shown their loyalty to me through the past year, and we never lost confidence. It's just good to be running quick. But it will be a long race tomorrow, and those Sam Schmidt cars are really quick. I'll be a lot more ecstatic if it's the same thing tomorrow afternoon."

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Cory Witherill , Sam Schmidt , Paul Dana