Franchitti wins pole for Milwaukee Indyfest 225
However, even if Wilson did win the pole, he was going to have to start 10 positions back due to an early engine change penalty. Wilson and six other drivers get moved back, including No. 12 Will Power, Scott Dixon's No. 9, the No. 14 ABC Supply car driven by Mike Conway, the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car of Takuma Sato and the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car driven by rookie Josef Newgarden also will receive 10-spot grid penalties for unapproved engine changes at Texas. Ryan Briscoe gets a 10 grid penalty after a premature engine change here this weekend.
That moves Ryan Hunter-Reay up to the outside of the front row in his Chevy and Rubens Barrichello to third, his best starting position to date in IndyCar.
DARIO FRANCHITI (No. 10 Cottonelle Honda): "I am very pleased as much as I am surprised. That's quite a turnaround from practice. Practice is one thing, qualifying is another and then there is the race. For as warm as it people are fighting the car and everyone wants the same line. I expect tomorrow is going to be tough, especially at the end of a full - stint on those Firestone tires. It's going to be a long exciting day tomorrow and hopefully the Cottonelle car will be up front at the end of the afternoon. This is always an interesting track and we'll see if we can get it done."
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 18 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Honda): "The confidence has helped a lot. I feel like we've made some progress in understanding this car and what it's looking for, so we'll keep chipping away at it and making the car better and better. I'm having a lot of fun. Qualifying is great, we'll just keep our heads down, keep working on it. We were very pleased with last week. Obviously there was the whole question over the legality, but that's why we've tried to come back and back it up with and we've proved that we're here and we're here to stay."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet, qualified third): "We had a great run for the DHL/Sun Drop Chevy. The guys did a great job on the car - we were all over the sixth-gear limiter on our last lap or, I think, we would have been quick enough for pole. We couldn't have predicted we would be that quick though, it's the quickest we've been all weekend. It's tough for the crew, especially the engineers, trying to pick which gears to go with. It's like shooting with a blindfold on sometimes."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "The car in race trim is good. We had too much understeer and I had to lift in Turns 3 and 4. Not what we wanted and then you add our 10 grid spot penalty to that for the engine change and we really have to come from the back tomorrow in the Target car."
JAMES JAKES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): "Our qualifying position is disappointing because we had a really good car. Practices were great. I wish would could have had another run for qualifying but right now I'm just looking ahead to tomorrow and bringing the Boy Scouts of America Honda back up front."
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "The car still has something left in it. It's good to see the job the guys are doing. They know what I need to feel comfortable on the ovals. I'm learning, learning quick, but still learning every day. I really enjoyed the qualifying here today. It's one of those deals where you have to be flat to be on pole, and that's very challenging to do here. It's such an adrenaline rush to qualify here."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus): "I'm pretty happy to have out-qualified someone. I think we have a really good race car. We worked a lot and I think it's pretty impressive because we're the only team here that hasn't come and tested. So I'm happy about that. We're just working on a good basic for tomorrow. Maybe we can get off-strategy a little bit so we can move forward and then I think we can run there. I don't think we'll be able to pass anyone, but I think we can definitely run with people and stay with people, so that's the important thing."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 GEICO /Mouser Electronics- KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "I have to thank the team for giving me a good car today. I spent the morning working on my qualifying setup and felt pretty comfortable. This afternoon I concentrated on the race and how the car reacted in traffic and fe/e that we have a solid race car. Tomorrow will be an interesting day and hopefully we can bring a home a good result."
RUBENS BARRICHELLO (No. 8 BMC/Embrase - KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "I am extremely happy with today's qualifying. As soon as we rolled the car out on track it felt good and it's a great feeling to be able to go flat. I have been to Milwaukee a few times as a spectator and tested here a couple of weeks ago, but everything felt much better today. I have to thank my engineers and crew guys for giving me a good car and hope we can have a good race tomorrow."
E.J. VISO (No. 5 CITGO-PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "The performance we have shown at this track up to now has been strong. What makes me even more excited is that I feel we have a good race car. There are going to be a lot of cars dropping back in this race because the hot weather temperatures will have a big effect. Hopefully, our strategy and the car development we have done will take us to the front and we can stay there."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): ""It was quite a tough day, very challenging. I like this track and the way you have to drive so hard. We couldn't come to the test here and the practice session we had today was not enough to work through all of the things we wanted to try on our program. We needed more time. The car was a little sketchy and maybe a bit tipped over for qualifying and the speed we demanded and we had a little oversteer. We ended up in 14th place and with the penalty we have to start from the back of the grid. We made good progress through the sessions and will continue to work hard tonight to put all of the positive things together and make a stronger car for the race. I felt it was difficult to overtake with this configuration. The main challenge of the race will obviously be staying on the lead lap and we need to move up the positions as soon as we can. That will be challenging. Hopefully a strong car and good strategy will help us get to the front."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team RC Cola Chevrolet): "I'm a little bit disappointed for the RC guys, I think they deserve a bit more than where we qualified. I was flat in Turn 1 and Turn 2 but struggled in Turns 3 and 4 with understeer and just couldn't get the car to turn."
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "We knew we wouldn't qualify too well. We worked on the race setup today quite a bit. We had a good test at Iowa so I feel we'll be OK in the race. It's so much different here from qualifying to the race. The race conditions are completely different. The tires make a difference in the race as well as traffic. The track isn't banked very high and the tires tend to lose traction. The race pace is going to be much slower than the qualifying pace. The groove changes here in the race. Sometimes it will go higher and other times it goes to the low side. But passing gets better as the stint goes on. We haven't done our best getting good runs on the fresh Firestones, but we seem pretty competitive when the tires get worn a bit. We have been able to come through the field in the other oval races so far and I hope we can do it again Saturday."
JR HILDEBRAND (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet): "The conditions right now are definitely better than they were earlier. It caught me out a little bit because it took me a lap to figure out that the conditions were as good as they were. I probably could have pushed a little bit hard. Our race car is really good and that is what will matter for tomorrow. We'll see how this all shakes out, but we feel good about what we've got for tomorrow."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet): "I think our qualifying run with the Go Daddy car was decent. We knew that we weren't going to be competing for the pole but this little track is so tricky. We didn't roll off this morning with a great car, but we've been working away at it and we definitely have it better now than it was this morning. I'm pleased with how it went; I just wish we would've had more of a head start on that going in. The first lap would've been stronger if I had known then what I know now, and did what I did on the second lap. It's alright as long as we have a good race car, then we'll be able to move up quickly in the race."
KATHERINE LEGGE (No. 6 TrueCar Dragon Racing Chevrolet): "I am absolutely gutted with that qualifying run because the team gave me a really good car. I am super confident with my race car, but I just wasn't aware how hard you could push the car in qualifying. I could have gone out there and pushed a lot harder. We should have been inside the top 12, realistically, but we're not and that's just experience. It's disappointing, but we'll just have to fight hard tomorrow."
ORIOL SERVIA (No. 22 Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet): "Everything is better with our team since we went to Chevy. We have been very strong everywhere. Just for some reason this morning we didn't get the setup right, or there is something wrong with the car that we aren't understanding. In qualifying, the car felt its best, it was just very slow. I am very happy with how things have been going."
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "I didn't quite get enough out of the car today. I probably should have held it a little more flat than I did because SFHR gave me a really good car. (How does knowing you have a 10-spot grid penalty affect you going into qualifications?): "Knowing that we had the penalty coming here wasn't too bad because it's been a cycle this year. Everyone's had to go through it at some point and it's just our turn. That's the whole thing with engine manufacturer competition coming back to the series. I think it's great that we have that competition because that's what racing is really about. We want to see them duking it out with each other, and I'm really proud to be backed by Honda power."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): "Not a bad qualifying session for the Hitachi machine. We didn't have the balance worked out 100 percent, but the race is a whole different ball game here in Milwaukee and it's going to be a long day. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and plan on being able to come through the pack to get to the front."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): " "That was a good run for the No.12 Verizon Wireless team. Obviously we will be starting well back in the pack at 14th, but there is a bunch of other teams dealing with the same issue. We are going to try and make the most of it and have a good day tomorrow."
Results (before 7 drivers lose 10 positions each due to early engine changes)
Lineup after Penalties
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