American Hunter-Reay wins pole for Edmonton Indy
Hunter-Reay got the bonus point for winning the pole and the $10,000 check, but the IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader will start the 75-lap Edmonton Indy from the 11th position.
Hunter-Reay, who slipped into the Firestone Fast Six by 0.0285 of a second ahead of Will Power, picked up his first pole of the season and second of his Indy car career with a best lap of 1 minute, 17.2338 seconds (103.664 mph) in the shootout on the 2.224-mile, 13-turn City Centre Airport circuit.
The drop on the starting grid is because of an unapproved change of his Chevrolet engine following his victory on the streets of Toronto two weeks ago.
"It was great we picked up a championship point for the pole, but too bad we will be starting 11th instead of first because of the engine change," Hunter-Reay said. "(The race) will be really interesting for everyone."
Dario Franchitti will, therefore, start first in his Target Chip Ganassi Honda. He tried to beat Hunter-Reay's time but went off course on his final lap.
Ryan Briscoe will start third in his Penske Chevy while Takuma Sato and Alex Tagliani round out the top-5.
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet): "I am really happy with that pole - we even saved a set of Firestone Red for tomorrow. The track was constantly changing throughout the sessions, putting on a clear visor helped so I could see the wet spots. It was really hard to come to the decision to run on the used Reds in the final round, but it was the right thing to do. We hadn't been on a wet track all weekend so it was kind of a guess on what line to use and these car have very little give in then and going over the bumps and when it is wet it is very tricky. It was great we picked up a Championship point for the pole but too bad we will be staring 11th instead of first because of the engine change. Tomorrow will be really interesting for everyone."
DARIO FRANCHITI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "It was fairly interesting, just dealing with the track drying in the second session, the first session it just started to rain a little bit. So yeah, that made it pretty interesting. That third session, the big decision was go with new reds, or go with scrubs, so we decided to go with scrubs and was just really trying to put a lap together there. I think we got within a hundredth or something, but didn't quite manage to put the lap together, so it's good that we start in the front row, the Target car is good again this weekend, it'd be nice to have a decent race because we've had some good qualifying performances but our races haveâ€”we've had incidents and all kinds of crazy stuff happening, so it'd be nice to have a day free of incidents and try to have a good result."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): "It was good. We've been struggling to find the balance in practice. We opened up yesterday with a good car and we just sort of made lots of changes and didn't quite get it back, so it's been a bit frustrating leading into qualifying. We made some good changes and in Q1 I had the car back where I could really attack and drive it the way I like to. From there, we just had to do our best in Q2 in the wet and then Q3, I wish maybe we would have waited a little bit longer in Q3 with the sticker tires we had, I think that would have been the advantage that Hunter-Reay had waiting a few laps on fresher tires, but all in all it was good. I'm very proud of the team, my engineer, the setup change we made and it is good to be starting at the front. We've got lots of guests here from Hitachi and we need the win for them. Looking forward to a good day tomorrow.
TAKUMA SATO (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): "It didn't go as well as last year, but I think we did as well as we could, as we could get today. P4 is a fantastic result for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team, after the couple of difficult races, I'm really pleased to be back in here and start in the top 6 again this year, we've been waiting for a long time so it's really good. We made a good progress over the course of the practice session and through the Q1, I was reasonably happy with the balance and actually quite strong on the wet track, so we were pleasantly surprised and it was pretty good. And then of course Q2 was my favorite, I was actually grinning under the visor with the rain coming, I was happy with the Q2. But unfortunately on the Q3, there was a bit of a gamble the way we go out first before the coming rain, or waiting for the moment while the track dries up in the end. Unfortunately [our gamble] didn't pay off, but I think we achieved what was the best and I'm certainly very, very happy starting from the second row."
ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 98 Team Barracuda-BHA Honda): "That's the third street course race since we've changed to Honda and that's the third Fast Six in a row. It says it all. We definitely have some pace and we've had our share of bad luck in a lot of the races. Hopefully tomorrow, we will have some good luck, because that's what the Barracuda team needs."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet): "Kind of a crazy qualifying, but the Penske Truck Rental guys, the boys did a great job, especially my engineer, able to change everything from dry to rain and then to dry, so we're very happy to be in the Fast Six, I'm disappointed that we couldn't be a little bit better, but the name of the game is the same for everyone. So that's what we need, we need to start in the front and hopefully we'll finish even better."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): ""It just wasn't our day today I guess. The Target car has been fast all weekend. We just didn't get the lap we needed when the rain came and we had to switch to the rain tires. It will be tough with the 10-place grid penalty tomorrow but you never know what can happen."
MIKE CONWAY (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "We had a fuel pressure problem this morning and it was even worse in qualifying. We tried lots of things to fix it before qualifying, including replacing the fuel pump, but obviously it didn't get fixed. They're going through everything again now to find the problem. It's disappointing because we had a good car and were quick all weekend. We definitely had the pace to start up front with the ABC Supply car."
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoRapid FlexTouch Honda): "I think we have a really good race car. We're still figuring out the reds a little bit on the street course. Tomorrow we need to just stay consistent. We have really good tires and a really good car. We know we can be quick and we know we can do the time, judging by what we've seen in qualifying. We'll see where we end up after grid-penalties but we should be looking for a strong race tomorrow."
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): ""It just wasn't our day today I guess. The Target car has been fast all weekend. We just didn't get the lap we needed when the rain came and we had to switch to the rain tires. It will be tough with the 10 place grid penalty tomorrow but you never know what can happen."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 GEICO /Mouser Electronics- KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): ""I am not happy with the way qualifying went today. It just means that we are going to have to do tomorrow what we have done so many times this season. That is, come from the back of the field to the front and get the best result possible."
RUBENS BARRICHELLO (No. 8 BMC/Embrase - KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "It was great that we got through to the second round of qualifying today. When I saw the rain starting after the my first round, it made me smile as I have always liked the wet, however we went out just a little late, so I was a lap down on everyone. We have improved over the course of the weekend, so I hope for a good race tomorrow."
E.J. VISO (No. 5 CITGO-PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "Obviously we are disappointed with today's qualifying. We worked very hard to make the car better during the morning practice and I believe it was better. A tenth of a second would have gotten us to the next round, however after qualifying we discovered that the under wing was damaged and the extent of the damage prohibited us from achieving the result we wanted."
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "The car was OK in the rain. We're missing a little bit of help from the front end of the car in the wet and in the dry. So, we'll work on it. Seventh is not a bad starting position tomorrow. There are a lot of championship contenders who didn't make it. We're in a good spot. It will be a long day tomorrow, and we have a good race car."
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): ""I feel like I put in a solid lap. I don't think I left much out there. I had good stability and great depth on the brakes. If the crew would have told me that my lap was P1 in that first session I honestly wouldn't have been surprised because I thought it was a good final lap. We'll put our heads together tonight and see what we can come up with for the race tomorrow. Everyone's just really close out there this weekend."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet): "We didn't have - or decided not to for whatever reason - time to make many changes between sessions. I had no rear grip out there and was hanging on for dear life, so it's pretty disappointing. Obviously, in Q1 (the first qualifying session) we found some speed over practice and we probably had a chance at making the Firestone Fast Six again. It's just one of those things... luck hasn't been going our way lately. But, last race in Toronto we started 19th and by 25 laps in we were fourth, so we know we can fight back from this."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus): "Well, it's really disappointing. We were hoping the rain would come a little earlier and help us out. The car is really good, but we're still down on power and that hurts here because of the long straightaways. Rain would have been good. I think we have a good car for the race. We'll just have to wait and see what the weather does. Hopefully we'll have a good finish."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 38 Service Central): "Overall, qualifying was good and bad. Our car in the dry is awfully competitive. In the wet we made some changes that just didn't work for us and at the end of the day we weren't fully expecting the rain. We'll be fine, we just have to be smart and stick to the plan. We'll move up with the grid penalties so I feel pretty good about it."
ORIOL SERVIA (No. 22 Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing): "I actually felt like the car was a little better on the braking which has been our biggest weakness. We are still off a little bit and we're not hitting the nail on the head for what we need for here. We're trying hard and we usually show our brightest side on Sunday, so we hope to do that. A lot of people are struggling and you can see that on the grid. This is just a tough track. These brakes are really hard to nail what they need and you end up blocking one end or the other all of the time. When you can't brake late the whole corner gets messed up. Here you have three really hard braking zones and if you're not good at the braking then you are not going to look good on the lap times and that's what has happened."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet): "Tough finish for the Verizon car today, I thought we had a fast car but we didn't play the weather correctly. It sprinkled enough to use the wets but then created a dry line pretty quick. I should have known better there as the fastest laps were coming at the end. Tomorrow will be a great challenge and we need to have a good result."
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 18 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Honda): "It's disappointing that we couldn't get the Sonny's Bar-B-Q Honda through to the second round. We seemed to be missing a little bit everywhere. In this morning's practice we had a lot of understeer on the black tires and we were next to last on the timesheets for most of the session. Then we changed the tires and made one set-up change at the end and went P4. So we were a bit confused on exactly where we were going into qualifying and it turns out we weren't as quick as we hoped. The car was really loose on the Firestone reds; I was just fighting every corner which made it really difficult to flow the speed that I needed to carry through Turns 6 to 12. So it's disappointing, but it's not the end of the world. We'll keep working on it in warm-up tomorrow. Hopefully we'll get a good start in the race and pass a few cars and we've got an extra set of red Firestone tires to use in the race which should help as well."
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