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Indy Lights - Krohn Qualifies Fifth, Credited With Ninth-Place Finish

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WEST ALLIS, June 21, 2011: The Belardi Auto Racing team did an amazing job to get Anders Krohn’s Liberty Engineering Racing Special No. 9 repaired and race-ready after a crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 27, but a rare mechanical problem forced him to retire in the early stages of the David Hobbs 100 Firestone Indy Lights race Sunday afternoon at the Milwaukee Mile. Despite the bad luck Krohn still was credited with a ninth-place finish.

The team’s mechanics spent many long hours repairing Krohn’s car between races due to the crash, but thanks to their hard work and expertise it was fast right off the transporter at Milwaukee. Krohn was third in the first practice session on the 1.015-mile oval on Saturday morning with a time of 25.4245 (143.720 miles per hour). The Houston-based driver was fourth in the second practice session a couple hours later with a time of 25.2103 (144.941 mph). Later Saturday afternoon he was fifth in Sunoco Pole Qualifying with a time of 50.0900 (145.897 mph) with the car, which is sponsored by Liberty Engineering, Logi Trans Offshore Express, Trallfa, PM International Suppliers, Allied Building Products, ZAT Graphics, Eagles Canyon Raceway, OMP and Bell Helmets. For this race, held on Father’s Day, the car also advertised Endodontic Specialists of Wisconsin and Dr. David Belardi, father of team owner Brian Belardi. Liberty Engineering, which is based in nearby Roscoe, Ill., also entertained many special guests at the event.

Krohn’s hopes were very high for the race, but as soon as he got out on the track the engine shut itself off for no apparent reason. Part of the electrical system shorted without anything being broken, so it was certainly not anything the team could have predicted. Three other drivers were involved in a crash in Turn 4 on the pace lap and didn’t complete that circuit and one other driver withdrew from the event, so The Viking was still credited with a ninth-place finish out of the 13 entries.

“I really feel bad for the team,” said Krohn, who is a native of Stavanger, Norway. “It’s a great shame. They worked so hard to get the car ready for this race. The entire team did a great job. They gave Jorge [Goncalvez] and I two brand-new cars essentially, and we were looking strong.

“But rolling out of the pits a warning light came on. It’s some sort of electrical problem that shut down the fuel pump, but the guys will figure that out when they go over the car completely at the shop. We’re not 100 percent sure what the problem was right now. Anyway, I just had to park it. It was such a shame, because the guys worked so hard to give me a great car. We were very fast in practice and qualifying on Saturday.

“We have had lots of speed at the first five races of the year but we don’t have the results to show for it yet,” Krohn added. “Normally I'm not a believer in luck, but sometimes you have to wonder what's going on. That being said, I have to give massive congratulations to my teammate, Jorge Goncalvez, for his podium finish. He’s a great guy and he certainly deserved it after his terrible crash in Indianapolis. I also want to congratulate Wayne Boyd, who won the USF2000 race at Milwaukee for Belardi Auto Racing.

“Despite my problem it was a pretty spectacular day for our team,” Krohn noted. “I just hope I’m the next one in line to get a good finish, because the guys certainly deserve it. We’ll get back at it at Iowa and hope for better luck there.”

Goncalvez finished third in the 100-lap event behind the winner, polesitter Esteban Guerrieri, and the runner-up, Josef Newgarden, who started second. Goncalvez started seventh.

Krohn won’t have long to wait until he can try again. The next race is in five days, as it’s scheduled for this coming Saturday, June 25 on the 0.875-mile oval at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. It will be broadcast live on VERSUS at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Krohn is eighth in the point standings after Milwaukee.