Sears Point: RLR/Anderson Racing qualifying I notes

RLR/Andersen's Firestone Indy Lights Drivers To Start Sixth and Seventh Saturday at Infineon Raceway SONOMA, Calif., Aug. 22 - RLR/Andersen Racing Firestone Indy Lights drivers J.R. Hildebrand of Sausalito, Calif., and Daniel Herrington of ...

RLR/Andersen's Firestone Indy Lights Drivers To Start Sixth and Seventh Saturday at Infineon Raceway

SONOMA, Calif., Aug. 22 - RLR/Andersen Racing Firestone Indy Lights drivers J.R. Hildebrand of Sausalito, Calif., and Daniel Herrington of Winston-Salem, N.C. qualified sixth and seventh, respectively, Friday at Infineon Raceway for Saturday's 30-lap Carneros 100. Saturday's race and a similar one on Sunday support the PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County IndyCar race.

Hildebrand's Allied Building Products No. 25 posted its best lap on its 12th of 21 laps turned in the 45-minute qualifying session with a 1:24.0152 for an average speed of 98.682 miles per hour. Hildebrand will start on the outside of Row 3 beside Ana Beatriz.

Herrington's best lap in the Andersen Racing No. 5 came on his 21st and last lap with a 1:24.1269 (98.551 mph). He'll line up on the inside of Row 4 beside Mitch Cunningham.

Hildebrand was just 0.7301 of a second off Franck Perera's time that won the SWE Pole. Herrington's fastest lap was just 0.8418 of a second slower than the pole winner's best trip around the 2.245-mile, 12-turn road course.

Raphael Matos was on top of the standings, Herrington was sixth and Hildebrand was tenth when a full-course yellow came out about 19 minutes into the session for Mark Olson, who slid into a tire wall off Turn 3.

Thirty-seven minutes into the session another full-course yellow waved for Sean Guthrie, who spun in the same turn. Matos still led at that time, while Hildebrand was sixth and Herrington was ninth.

Hildebrand's lap held up the rest of the way and he remained in sixth, while Herrington improved at the very end to rise to seventh in the 23-car field. Both he and the pole winner posted their fastest laps at the very end. Herrington is making his first appearance at this particular track, while Hildebrand is a local favorite. Herrington's qualifying effort was his best of the five previous races he's competed in this year.

Tomorrow's race starts at 11:45 a.m. local time, and Sunday's is at 11:30 a.m. Live timing and scoring will be available at indycar.com. The starting line-up for Sunday's race will be based on the finish of Saturday's race, with some exceptions based on a draw that will invert some positions at the top of the field.

The two Infineon Firestone Indy Lights races will be shown on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. Eastern Aug. 28.

The season finale is at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., on Sept. 7.

RLR/Andersen Racing, which is based in Palmetto, Fla., is sponsored by Allied Building Products Corp. The team is the official development team of Hilliard, Ohio's Rahal Letterman Racing.

J.R. Hildebrand: "The Allied Building Products car got held up on a few laps when we really had a run going. Realistically I didn't feel like we should be sixth, but with the traffic and the yellows I had trouble putting it all together for a really fast lap.

"That performance isn't particularly reflective of the car's performance. The guys worked really hard to get the car the way I like it. I think it's pretty good at corner-entry, which is confidence inspiring.

"I'll just be looking for a good start and then I'll try to move up. I think with my experience here I'll be able to avoid going off course, which is a problem a lot of people are having here."

Daniel Herrington: "With how we did yesterday at the test and in practice here this morning, I think J.R. and I both had high expectations. We both thought we'd be in the top five.

"The Andersen Racing car felt pretty good. Early on we struggled with traffic, or me pushing too hard. The more laps we got on it the more the car improved, which should help us tomorrow during the race. We still want to figure out why we're not in the top five though."

-credit: rlr/ar

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Daniel Herrington , Sean Guthrie , J.R. Hildebrand , Mark Olson , Ana Beatriz , Mitch Cunningham , Franck Perera