Dixon earns pole by default
IndyCar Series points leader Scott Dixon will start from the pole after persistent "weepers" at Kentucky Speedway canceled all on-track activities, including PEAK Performance Pole Qualifying for the Meijer Indy 300 presented by Red Baron and Edy's.
The starting grid was set by entrant points, with Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Dixon and Dario Franchitti side by side on the front row. Water was drawn to the racing surface in multiple locations by the afternoon sunshine, which kept Delphi Safety Team and track workers busy while drivers/teams waited out the delay. Team Penske teammates Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves will share Row 2 at the start of the race under the lights, while Andretti Green Racing's Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti will be on Row 3. Dan Wheldon of Panther Racing and Justin Wilson of Dale Coyne Racing break up the teammate tag team on Row 4.
Firestone Indy Lights points leader J.R. Hildebrand will start from the pole in the Kentucky 100, the Firestone Indy Lights' 100th race under the Indy Racing League banner. Sebastian Saavedra will join his teammate on the front row.
Indy Lights Quotes:
J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 26 ARPRO, polesitter): "We've definitely been sitting around for a long time today. I was thinking maybe the drivers should lineup and we could have a footrace to see who could get the pole. This was a little bit easier than that. We came out and tested here at the beginning of the season, and they've ground the track down since then, so it will be a little different. But we had a good test. Once we get out on track, we figure out how good our car is. It's been a tough day. A lot of drivers have been sitting around in their suits all day because it was so touch and go. Hopefully we can get some practice because getting ready for the race tomorrow is the most important thing."
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, starts second): "Feels great (to start on front row), still a long way from what I want. We still have some races to go where we can pull into a (points) battle with AGR. I'm very positive about what can happen at this oval, looking forward to what's going on toward the end of the season." (How tough is it to come here in the morning and not do anything?): "It's painful, at first to think of so many things we have to test and when you cut each minute, it's really bad for us. You want to have the perfect car and we don't have the right amount of time to test all the things we want. I just want to drive, and if it's tonight I hope they give us the whole session
MARIO ROMANCINI (No. 5 Revita/Win Brazil/Allied, starts third) "Very tough, we've been here since 10 a.m. just waiting for confirmation on the moment we can go on the track. But I know the guys at the track are trying to do their best, to fix this problem. Let's hope we can (get on) the track and at least do a practice tonight." (Since you're third in points are you happy that at least you're starting up front?): "It's always good to start up front especially with the bad qualifying we had at the last race, but still, it will be important for everybody to have a practice session before the race. Even if we don't qualifying having the chance to practice is important for us."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, PEAK Performance Pole Award): "We'll definitely take it any way we can get it. It just shows that throughout the season you have to be close to on top or near the top if you have adverse conditions and have to start by points. It's a fantastic result for Team Target with a 1-2 start. Unfortunately, it's not the way we wanted to go about it. It's a tough day here for all of us not being able to be on track, especially when we have a lot of different changes we'd like to try out. More so, even with the push-to-pass option, which we're not really going to get to try at this point, maybe until tomorrow or later tonight. All-in-all, just want to be on track and hopefully we can get on as soon as possible." (About his experience at the track): "I think less running is always an advantage for our team. We definitely seem to roll of on the mile-and-a-halfs and mile ovals tracks pretty good, maybe with a few exceptions. We won here last year and the car seems to be pretty good on mile-and-halfs this season. The track has obviously changed a little bit from last year with some of the grinding and we don't really know how that's going to go. We should be pretty decent. I think the starting position is a big deal, especially having your teammate right there as well helps."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, second): "(About the weepers): Our biggest concern right now is to get some track time for all the new regulations, all the new aero pieces, all that kind of stuff. Every team would love to get out there and get some laps right now and see what it's going to be like. If you see the guys out there, the safety team guys, everyone from the IndyCar Series, they are working hard to clean up the weepers, but there's nothing you can do. It's not their fault that it rained torrential rain yesterday since I arrived. You can only do so much to fix it. Hopefully when the sun goes down, we'll see the weepers go away. It's a tough situation for everybody. The good thing about having a team like Target (Chip Ganassi Racing) with a lot of experience, we always know how to react quickly and come up with the right setup." (About experience at Kentucky Speedway): "The one-and-a-half mile tracks are really all about the subtlety of one track to another so experience here does help hopefully. Like I said, I'd like to get the car working the way I want it and we'll be quick."
RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 US Air Force Luczo Dragon Racing): "It's been a long day of waiting. It's been a very unfortunate situation, but the weather has played tricks on the track. We really wanted to get some track time and make a good qualifying run. Our goal was top 10, but we'll be starting 13th, which isn't bad here. I really like this track. I had the pole in (Firestone) Indy Lights last year, so I've had success. Now we just need to make sure we have a good, strong, consistent racecar and do well with our pit stops. We have a short time to get ready, but we'll be ready to go."