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After Fontana
Final Driver Standings

Rank Driver Points
1 Will Power 671
2 Helio Castroneves 609
3 Scott Dixon 604
4 Juan Pablo Montoya 586
5 Simon Pagenaud 565
6 Ryan Hunter-Reay 563
7 Tony Kanaan 544
8 Carlos Munoz 483
9 Marco Andretti 463
10 Sebastien Bourdais 461
11 Ryan Briscoe 461
12 James Hinchcliffe 456
13 Josef Newgarden 406
14 Charlie Kimball 402
15 Justin Wilson 395
16 Mikhail Aleshin 372
17 Jack Hawksworth 366
18 Takuma Sato 350
19 Graham Rahal 345
20 Carlos Huertas 314
21 Sebastian Saavedra 291
22 Ed Carpenter 262
23 Mike Conway 252
24 Oriol Servia 88
25 Kurt Busch 80
26 J.R. Hildebrand 66
27 Sage Karam 57
28 Luca Filippi 46
29 James Davison 34
30 Jacques Villeneuve 29
31 Alex Tagliani 28
32 Townsend Bell 22
33 Pippa Mann 21
34 Martin Plowman 18
35 Buddy Lazier 11
36 Franck Montagny 8
Dixon wins Indy 500 pole as Ganassi team goes 1-2

by Mark J. Cipolloni
Saturday, May 10, 2008

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Scott Dixon on his way to pole position
Steve Snoddy/IRL

Proving that the car is nearly 100% of the game in the IRL, Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon will start 1-2 for this year's Indy 500 by running 100% throttle for four laps resulting in almost near identical lap times.  Underscoring the 100% throttle effort, Penske teammates Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves were 3rd and 4th ahead of three Andretti Green Racing teammates Danica Patrick, Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti.

Quotes | Press Conference

The lineup is Ganassi-Ganassi-Penske-Penske-AGR-AGR-AGR so you can see the pattern.  100% throttle oval racing is all about minimizing wind resistance (expensive wind tunnel time) and reducing rolling friction losses (expensive minute mechanical changes) so the hope is that with the 2010 car the IRL will think seriously about putting the driver back in the equation because the current formula has pretty much removed the driver completely.

All the ex-Champ Car teams failed to qualify because they have the base car that comes from Dallara and with the merger coming so late, have had no time to develop the cars aerodynamically and to reduce rolling resistance.  Hence they are all running 100% throttle but the times just are not there despite taking all the wing out of the car.

Bruno Junqueira spins
Jessica Hoffman/IRL
Two cars spun on the day - Bruno Junqueira and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

With the rules permitting three qualifying attempts per day, and with his first attempt not fast enough to make the top-11 and lock him in for the 500, Ryan Hunter-Reay went back out with 45 minutes left in the session, needing to find less than a single mile per hour for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

When his first lap left him shy of qualifying, Hunter-Reay used his in-car adjustments and kept his foot in it to milk every last drop of speed out of his Dallara - but it would not be enough.

Hunter-Reay’s car spun in Turn Three and backed into the SAFER barrier, damaging his car and ending his chance to qualify on the first day.

“We had the speed yesterday so we had a taste of it, but we just couldn’t recreate it today,” lamented Hunter-Reay, who was uninjured in the accident and was immediately cleared to continue driving by IndyCar physicians. “I was trying to tune the car like we did yesterday from inside the cockpit, but we just didn’t have it.

“We wanted to make the car a little better on the exit because that is where we were having trouble, but we were on the edge and we just went over. I knew that it was going to be very close to being trouble, but I’m a race car driver and I just wanted to get everything I could out of it. I’ve been in the Ethanol car for six or seven months and this is our first crash, and I’m happy to be able to walk away from it.”

A total of 32 qualifying attempts were made during the noon-6 p.m. qualifying session to set the first 11 starting positions in the 33-car starting field.  Second-day qualifying on Sunday will set the next 11 grid positions, with qualifying for the final 11 positions and "bumping" taking place on May 17-18.

Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Pole Qualifier, his first Indianapolis 500 pole in six attempts (best previous start was 4th in 2003, 2006 and 2007):  "It hasn't really sunk in yet.  It means a lot.  It's the hard work that goes into it.  Indy for our team starts well early in the winter with months of planning and development.  All the time that the guys put in back at the workshop, this is the result.  It's all the effort on their part that makes the difference.  I just put the pieces together."

Pole Day Qualifying Results

Pos

Driver Lap 1 Time/Speed Lap 2 Time/Speed Lap 3 Time/Speed Lap 4 Time/Speed Avg Speed Status
1 Scott Dixon (9) 39.7180/226.598 39.7343/226.505 39.7697/226.303 39.8128/226.058 226.366 Pole Day
2 Dan Wheldon (10) 39.7583/226.368 39.7812/226.238 39.8317/225.951 39.8431/225.886 226.110 Pole Day
3 Ryan Briscoe (6) 39.7615/226.350 39.8094/226.077 39.8279/225.972 39.8370/225.921 226.080 Pole Day
4 Helio Castroneves (3) 39.8610/225.785 39.8453/225.874 39.8874/225.635 39.8869/225.638 225.733 Pole Day
5 Danica Patrick (7) 39.9366/225.357 39.9547/225.255 39.9912/225.050 39.9776/225.126 225.197 Pole Day
6 Tony Kanaan (11) 39.9429/225.322 40.1067/224.401 40.0492/224.724 40.0475/224.733 224.794 Pole Day
7 Marco Andretti (26) 40.0735/224.587 40.1315/224.263 40.1393/224.219 40.0712/224.600 224.417 Pole Day
8 Vitor Meira (4T) 40.1061/224.405 40.1260/224.293 40.1179/224.339 40.1163/224.348 224.346 Pole Day
9 Hideki Mutoh (27) 40.1803/223.990 40.1890/223.942 40.2065/223.844 40.2194/223.773 223.887 Pole Day
10 Ed Carpenter (20) 40.1978/223.893 40.2238/223.748 40.2229/223.753 40.1879/223.948 223.835 Pole Day
11 Tomas Scheckter (12) 40.2417/223.649 40.2660/223.514 40.2765/223.455 40.2925/223.367 223.496 On Bubble
12 Justin Wilson (02) 40.3776/222.896 40.4038/222.751 40.4236/222.642 0.0000/0.000 222.763 On Track
NaN Dan Wheldon (10) 39.7984/226.140 39.8366/225.923 39.8756/225.702 39.8946/225.594 225.840 Withdrawn
NaN Scott Dixon (9) 39.9677/225.182 39.9700/225.169 39.9705/225.166 39.9656/225.194 225.178 Withdrawn
NaN Ryan Briscoe (6) 40.0266/224.850 40.0185/224.896 40.0279/224.843 40.0461/224.741 224.833 Withdrawn
NaN Marco Andretti (26) 40.0884/224.504 40.1333/224.253 40.1634/224.085 40.2133/223.807 224.162 Withdrawn
NaN Tomas Scheckter (12) 40.1949/223.909 40.2190/223.775 40.2309/223.709 40.2279/223.725 223.779 Bumped
NaN Hideki Mutoh (27) 40.1962/223.902 40.2077/223.838 40.2730/223.475 40.2867/223.399 223.653 Failed Attempt
NaN Graham Rahal (06) 40.2612/223.540 40.2834/223.417 40.3070/223.286 40.3266/223.178 223.355 Bumped
NaN Davey Hamilton (22) 40.2683/223.501 40.2709/223.486 40.3177/223.227 40.3705/222.935 223.287 Bumped
NaN Graham Rahal (06) 40.2948/223.354 40.3160/223.236 40.3456/223.073 0.0000/0.000 223.221 Waived Off
NaN Ryan Hunter-Reay (17) 40.2711/223.485 40.2631/223.530 40.3339/223.137 40.4928/222.262 223.102 Bumped
NaN Ryan Hunter-Reay (17) 40.3555/223.018 0.0000/0.000 0.0000/0.000 0.0000/0.000 223.018 Waived Off
NaN Darren Manning (14) 40.3671/222.954 0.0000/0.000 0.0000/0.000 0.0000/0.000 222.954 Waived Off
NaN Justin Wilson (02) 40.3789/222.889 40.3966/222.791 40.4091/222.722 40.4073/222.732 222.783 Failed Attempt
NaN Oriol Servia (5) 40.3854/222.853 40.4362/222.573 40.4325/222.593 40.4684/222.396 222.604 Bumped
NaN Will Power (8) 40.4041/222.750 40.4247/222.636 40.4645/222.417 40.5044/222.198 222.500 Bumped
NaN Townsend Bell (99) 40.3901/222.827 40.4183/222.671 40.4938/222.256 40.5708/221.834 222.397 Failed Attempt
NaN Will Power (8) 40.5069/222.184 40.5353/222.029 0.0000/0.000 0.0000/0.000 222.107 Waived Off
NaN Mario Moraes (19) 40.8221/220.469 40.8262/220.447 40.9296/219.890 41.0906/219.028 219.957 Bumped
NaN AJ Foyt IV (2) 0.0000/0.000 0.0000/0.000 0.0000/0.000 0.0000/0.000 0.000 No Attempt
NaN Bruno Junqueira (18) 0.0000/0.000 0.0000/0.000 0.0000/0.000 0.0000/0.000 0.000 Waived Off

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