|Will Power exits Turn 2|
Will Power led a Chevy 1-2-3-4 in qualifying for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the historic 1-mile Milwaukee oval.
Power's 2-lap average speed of 169.262 mph on the flat oval was fast enough to hold off Ganassi Racing's Tony Kanaan (168.662 mph) and his Penske teammate Juan Montoya (168.579 mph).
Ryan Briscoe and Josef Newgarden rounded out the top-5.
Today marks Power's first career pole award at the Milwaukee Mile. This is Power's sixth career Verizon P1 Pole Award on an oval. The last one came at Texas Motor Speedway on June 7, 2014.
Power’s last pole win was at Texas Motor Speedway on June 7, 2014. This is his third of the season. Power has now 35 Verizon P1 Pole Awards in his career. This places him in sixth place on the all-time list. Power will be seeking his first career win at the Milwaukee Mile.
|Andretti teammates huddle after disastrous qualifying session|
Disaster hit Andretti Autosport during qualifications for tomorrow's ABC Supply 250 IndyCar race. While leading the speed charts on the day, it was obvious that they missed the qualification setup after Ryan Hunter-Reay's run. Hunter-Reay will start 19th, with Marco starting 9th, Hinchcliffe starting 13th and Munoz starting 20th. A dejected Hunter-Reay lamented that it will be tough to avoid getting lapped early in the race.
Conversely, it quickly became obvious that Team Penske had been working on race setup all weekend, not showing its hand for pole runs. Will Power added a point to his season championship lead -- now up to 5 points -- by taking the pole. Juan Pablo Montoya qualified 3rd, and Helio Castroneves 8th.
Sneaking into the mix was Tony Kanaan (2nd), Ryan Briscoe (4th), Charlie Kimball (6th) and Scott Dixon (11th) for Chip Ganassi Racing. Kanaan has always run well at this track, but the strong showings by his team mates no doubt will make for some happy faces tonight at the team dinner.
Horsepower isn't supposed to matter at a 1-mile flat oval, but for whatever reasons, the Chevy guys took 7 of the top 8 spots. Conversely, Honda powered cars took 11 of the bottom 14 spots.
TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "Milwaukee is always fun to drive and very challenging for the drivers. It demands a lot because you're not able to go flat here unless the conditions are superb. Today we had warmer conditions so it's been really tricky in practice. We continued some of the test items we didn't get to in June and tried to improve the car. In qualifying we proved we made good progress--just not fast enough to go to the very front. We tried to get a consistent balance and I think we found that so that is good."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 National Guard Honda): "On the very last run in practice, I thought we found some good stuff and I think that carried over into qualifying. I was really struggling with the rear of the car and I think we improved it significantly. We had an issue with a tire so we had to change to our second set early so we didn't really get a fair shake on our qualifying simulation but on old tires we were running low 23's at the end of the session which was pretty good compared to what I've seen. It's tough though, there is no grip for anyone. Everyone is in the same boat and sliding around. I think the tires are going to be a key factor in this race. To follow in traffic is difficult but we'll see what happens. This place is extremely hard because it's a flat one-mile track and we typically don't run on flat places other than street and road courses so it is different, but I feel good about the National Guard car. We have a lot of very smart people on this team and I think you guys have all seen that lately. It's starting to come together. It didn't right away, but I think we have honed in on what we need to work on and we're starting to get there. We didn't have a very good test here, but we're coming off what should be four top 10s and a couple of top fives in a row had we not had the gearbox issue in Toronto too. We're on a bit of a hot streak and we definitely feel pretty good about where we're at. The National Guard guys are working really hard and we've just got to keep our head down and have a really good day tomorrow."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda): "Honestly, mechanically the car was fine. Nothing in our qualifying performance comes from the any ill effects from the crash. The UFD guys did a great job getting the car fixed, so huge thanks to them for that. We just missed it. The track changed quite a bit, we had a little problem in (Turns) 3 and 4 on the first flier and it just got worse in the second lap so we did what we could. I think the race car is still pretty good, we as a team just missed it a little bit today."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 Snapple Honda): "We hit the deck, we bottomed, which really made me have to come off the gas. The good thing is we have 250 laps on our side. Obviously we wanted a Verizon P1 trophy but we've been having problems since we rolled off, so we have to be happy with a top 10 start. We can get the job done from there, hopefully."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): "We just missed the balance entirely today in qualifying - it wasn't even close. Unfortunately, we are going to have to pay for it tomorrow. I just hope we get out of the first couple of stints on the lead lap the way things are going right now. We've had great cars here in the past, but just missed it here in qualifying. It's pretty frustrating but we can rebound tomorrow."
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 34 Cinsay AndrettiTV.com HVM Honda): "I was really disappointed by qualifying I didn't expect to be so far back. This team has always been dominate here at this track, but today just wasn't our day in general. We will see tomorrow. This track it is important where you start to have the track position, but anything could happen. We have to work hopefully to have a good car in traffic and on the long runs."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 8 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): "After recording my best lap in practice on my first timed lap out and then that qualifying effort, I think it's apparent that testing here a month ago really helped us out. We were able to come into this weekend really confident with the car we had and go right out with some really fast times. We had some gearbox issues in the second practice and weren't able to get a qualifying run in, but we did make some changes that we can use in the race tomorrow. After that second practice, we just decided to go back to our original setup and I think it worked out pretty well for us. It was a good solid run and it's going to be really helpful tomorrow in the race that we'll be starting up near the front."
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet): "That qualifying run felt really good. Two weeks ago at Mid-Ohio I came out of qualifying just completely crushed with the results. Since then we've focused on making sure we get a good qualifying run out of the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet here in Milwaukee. We spent a lot of time today in practice getting the car ready for the race tomorrow, and trying a couple different things. We still need to make a few changes before green flag, but I feel like we got about 95% out of the car today and I'm just really happy with the result."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): "We unloaded fast in the Target car and had a good first few practice sessions here at Milwaukee. We never seemed to get a clear lap in the second practice session so the times were a bit misleading. In qualifying I was just fighting understeer the whole time so we have some work to do tonight."
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 Huggies Chevrolet): "When Will (Power) set that time I was surprised because I didn't think that I could do that - I knew the track was better (than practice) but that's typical Milwaukee qualifying. The car always feels much worse in practice than it does in qualifying. I think we've got a chance (at winning tomorrow). We're starting on the front row and we've just got to do our thing. We've been showing how quick we've been almost everywhere - we just need to get a little bit of luck on our side sometime. Hopefully tomorrow we'll challenge Will (Power) and some of the guys. I think we have a good car and a chance to win. "
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "I thought we would be a little quicker in qualifying than seventh since we were second in the afternoon practice. But this ties my best qualifying here (2006) and I am pleased with race car setup. Just wish I could have gotten a little more out of the Fuzzy's Vodka Chevy today. I was faster on my second lap but I slid a little Turns 3 and 4. I have always loved coming to Milwaukee to race and even watch when I was younger. I like the history here and the tough challenge of driving the flat track. I feel good about coming into Sunday's race. (on the new announcement) "I'm very excited for the future. But to be honest, I want to go out with a big performance for Ed Carpenter Racing in the last three races. This team has had a great year (3 wins and the Indy 500 pole) and I want to win again badly. Then move on to the future with Sarah (Fisher) and Wink (Hartman). We feel we can improve our performance with a two-car team. There is a lot of talent between the two teams."
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Direct Supply/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "We had a pretty productive day. We lingered right in the top 5; we never fell out of that which is positive. I think we learned a lot about what we need for tomorrow. Tomorrow is really going to be a day of attrition. It looks like tire degradation is going to be a big deal this year. Tires really fall off on a stint, so as long as we look after that we should be strong. We seem to have good race pace. We focused more on race setup in practice today. I think we did a good job in qualifying. We were pretty close, but it's always hit or miss here with the clouds and sun. I'm happy we did our homework on the race because I feel like we have what we need to do a good job tomorrow."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): (About tomorrow's strategy, how critical is it to start up front at this place:) "It's traditionally a track position race. In practice, it was definitely hard to pass so I can see it, you're going to be in traffic all day. You're going to be trying to pass people."
(About adding one more point to championship lead; do you ride a little more comfortable): "Not with that one point. There's 100 points on the table at the last race, you know, but they all count. You've got to keep chipping away. Keep smiling and keep chipping away."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Mistic KVSH Racing Chevrolet): "It was obviously a tough day for the Mistic E-Cigs - KVSH Racing team. We unloaded the car and tried a couple of things, but with a limited amount of tires and track time, it is not easy to work some magic. We were hoping we had fixed most of the problem for qualifying, but it didn't work out. Hopefully, we will get a bit of a break tomorrow because track position is quite key here. Right now it looks like it is going to be up to Jimmy (co-owner and team strategist Jimmy Vasser), the guys on the scoring stand and the Mistic crew to make it happen."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): "I wasn't the first one out, but I knew that going out early was going to be a bit of a disadvantage. You could tell on the second lap that the track was just going to get better and better. Starting up front is good, but it's not essential to winning. You can definitely pass here at Milwaukee and pit strategy is always key. I thought the Hitachi Chevy was decent in race mode. If we can find a bit more speed we can make it interesting tomorrow."
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 17 Automatic Fire Sprinklers KV AFS Chevrolet): "Hard weekend so far for the Automatic Fire Sprinklers - KV AFS Racing team. Not being able to test here has definitely taken its toll unfortunately, which is something we have to accept as a team. We haven't been very competitive and are trying to sort things out so that we have a solid car for the race tomorrow. It wasn't our best qualifying, but I feel more confident on our race pace so hopefully tomorrow we will be able to catch up and move through the field."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): "We caught a break with the cloud cover, but I really don't pay attention to that. Our PPG Chevy is pretty good. I had a bit of an understeer in qualifying, but we've been pretty conservative on the wing here at Milwaukee. The track kept getting quicker as it cooled off so I didn't think that would be a pole-winning run. Congrats to Will for getting the Verizon P1 Pole Award for Team Penske. The third position is a great place to start the race tomorrow. I was confident coming into the weekend and nothing so far has changed my mind."
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "I would like to think that we are that dialed in, but it is always the circumstances. The cloud cover came in and cooled the track down. But the guys really did a great job. We struggled this morning in practice. We found something towards the end of the second session and put a new set of tires on. The car felt good, I just didn't get a good lap out of it. We opted not to change anything because we thought 'as you get used to the car, you can get more out of the car and know what it is going to do,' so that predictability really pays off."
||Target Chip Ganassi Racing|
||Juan Pablo Montoya
||Chip Ganassi Racing Teams|
||Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing|
||Chip Ganassi Racing Teams|
||Ed Carpenter Racing|
||AJ Foyt Enterprises|
||Target Chip Ganassi Racing|
||Dale Coyne Racing|
||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports|
||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports|
||Bryan Herta Autosport|
||KV Racing Technology|
||Andretti HVM Racing|
||KV Racing Technology|
||Dale Coyne Racing|