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"Special look at Vertex/Cunningham Racing and the #55 Epson Dallara/Oldsmobile"
Vertex/Cunningham Racing Qualifying Quotes and Notes
Event - Belterra Casino Indy 300 Kentucky Speedway - Sparta, Kentucky
Car/Driver - #55 EPSON/Shigeaki Hattori Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone Qualified - 20th
Shigeaki Hattori: "I ran flat out there the entire time, but unfortunately our qualifying speed didn't show it. We were off on gearing and had that not happened, we would of hit a higher speed. Tomorrow we'll be ready to compete. The #55 EPSON was a successful car at Kentucky last year and I know it will be even better this year." Ted Bitting, team manager: "As you have to do in racing sometimes, we took some risks and ran a different gear in qualifying than we did in practice. Had we chosen to run in another gear, we probably would have been higher on the speed chart. Of course, all of this won't matter during the race. Tomorrow will be about who has the consistent car that runs fast in traffic. Judging from Hattori's track record this season, the #55 EPSON should have no trouble finding a strong finish. "
Finished - 7th
Shigeaki Hattori quote: "Things went pretty well out there. For the first sequence, I felt a distinct push, which was making it hard to move through traffic, but we made changes in the first pit stop and that helped me out a lot. After that, the #55 EPSON was very consistent and had great fuel mixtures throughout the race. The EPSON crew did a great job for every pit stop. Our team was very fast in getting me in and out of the pits, and every time we pitted I jumped up in position."
Mark Olson, crew chief, quote: "Overall, it was a pretty good race for us. Hattori ran nice and smooth, keeping a competitive pace. Up until the moment the checkered flag fell, Hattori never lifted his foot off the gas and when the track temperature got hotter and the cars began to slide, Hattori still was able to run the car fast and strong. And the effort that Hattori did on the track, the team matched in the pits. It was a fantastic race that clearly put us in the Top 10 of the championship points!"
Primary sponsorship for Vertex/Cunningham Racing's #55 EPSON comes from EPSON America, Inc. Epson is a world leader in digital imaging technology and offers a complete line of printers, scanners, digital cameras and multi-media projectors. The company is also a leading supplier of point-of-scale (POS) systems and peripherals for the retail market. EPSON America is the U.S. affiliate of Japanese-based Seiko-Epson Corporation.
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