IndyCar - Franchitti Takes Pole At Iowa


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

NEWTON, Jun. 23, 2012: Dario Franchitti, who leaped into the top eight on the time chart in the final seconds of practice to qualify for the heat race, passed Marco Andretti on Lap 8 of 30 and went on the claim the pole for the 250-lap race under the lights June 23.

It was the second consecutive week that Franchitti has started on pole, and was the 28th of his Indy car career (passing Al Unser for seventh on the all-time list).

Results of the second practice session determined the fields for the 30-lap qualifying races. The top eight comprised Race 3, while Race 1 consisted of even-numbered positions in practice to determine the even-numbered spots in the starting lineup starting from 10th down. Race 3 followed the same format for odd-numbered cars.

Franchitti led Helio Castroneves, driving the No. 3 Penske Truck Rental car, to the start-finish line of the .894-mile track by 1.4671 seconds. It will be the second front-row start of the season and the fourth at Iowa Speedway for Castroneves, who won the opener at St. Petersburg.

Andretti, who topped the time chart in the two practice sessions, and Andretti Autosport teammate James Hinchcliffe will be on Row 2.

Team Penske teammates Ryan Briscoe and Will Power, the IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader, will start on Row 3. Ryan Hunter-Reay, the winner last week at Milwaukee, will be on Row 4 with Scott Dixon.

Tony Kanaan and Graham Rahal were the other heat race winners to qualifying ninth and 10th, respectively, but they'll incur 10-grid spot penalties for unapproved engine changes. Alex Tagliani and Josef Newgarden will take their spots on Row 5.

Also on June 22, Tristan Vautier's first qualifying lap of 160.066 mph on the .894-mile Iowa Speedway oval paved the way to a two-lap average of 159.973 mph (40.2368 seconds) and the pole position for the Firestone Indy Lights Sukup 100 on June 23.

Vautier, driving the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports with Curb Agajanian car, earned his third pole of the season -- and second in a row. He went on to win the race last weekend at the Milwaukee Mile.

Esteban Guerrieri will start on the front row for the third time this season, posting a qualifying speed of 159.597 mph (40.3316 seconds). He started from the pole in the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights race at Iowa Speedway.

Victor Carbone, the final qualifier, jumped to third in the No. 3 Mav TV/Nevoni/SSM with Curb Agajanian car to provide the sixth 1-2-3 starting lineup for the team in Firestone Indy Lights. Sebastian Saavedra will join Carbone on Row 2 in the No. 27 Team AFS car.

DAY 1 NOTEBOOK:

The IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in Iowa Corn Indy 250, a 250-lap race at 9 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. Firestone Indy Lights will compete in the Sukup 100, a 115-lap race at 6:40 p.m., Saturday. The Star Mazda Championship, part of the Mazda Road to Indy Ladder, will compete in the Iowa Speedway Foundation 100 at 5:20 p.m., on Saturday.

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This is the sixth IZOD IndyCar Series event at Iowa Speedway. Marco Andretti won the race last year. Past winners Andretti, Tony Kanaan (2010) and Dario Franchitti (2007 and 2009) are entered in the event.

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Live timing and scoring reports from Iowa Corn Indy 250 are available on the Internet at racecontrol.indycar.com. Feature stories, reports, driver quotes and notes will be posted on the INDYCAR media website at media.indycar.com. More detailed information, including media advisories and VNF coordinates are also posted on the media website. Hi-resolution images are available to media at www.indycarmedia.com. Media updates will also be provided on Twitter by following @indycarpr

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The following cars will have 10-grid spot penalties for unapproved engine changes following the event at Milwaukee: #5 Viso, #11 Kanaan

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The field for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 will be set through three heat races today.

Qualification groups will be determined by lap times recorded by entries on the .875-mile oval in the second (45-minute) practice session (2:30 p.m).

Race 1 will consist of the even-numbered positions, starting with the 10th-quickest practice time, and determine the even-numbered positions in the starting field from 10th down.

Race 2 will consist of the odd-numbered positions, starting with the ninth-quickest practice time, and determine the odd-numbered positions in the starting field from ninth down. Race 3 will consist of drivers ranked one through eight from the practice.

Results of Race 3 will determine the first four rows, with the winner taking the pole position.

***

ABC's telecast of the Milwaukee IndyFest showed an increase in national ratings and viewership over the same race in 2011.

Based on data numbers provided by Neilsen Media Research and ESPN, the race on June 16 won by Ryan Hunter-Reay delivered a 1.0 household rating and 1,409,000 viewers - an increase of 14 percent over 2011's race, which was also televised by ABC.

The rating is a 20 percent increase among households (1.0 vs. 0.8) from last year's race.

***

Bunkers straddle the fairway on the 321-yard (women's tee), par-4 18th hole at the TPC River Highlands, placing a premium on accuracy. No problem for Simona de Silvestro, who drives it as straight as her Nuclear Clean Energy car for Lotus HVM Racing.

"Good power on her drives just like her drives," said playing partner, PGA Tour pro Y.E. Yang, during the pro-am of the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn., on June 20.

De Silvestro was particularly pleased as she closed with a birdie for the round.

"I made a really long putt, but I think it was because Y.E. gave me a new putter," she said of Yang, who has two tour victories. "I can drive the ball, but chipping is pretty terrible. He helped me out and helped me read the putts. He was a really cool person to play with.

"I had an unbelievable time, the first time I ever did a pro-am. It was just a lot of fun, especially with the people from (sponsors) Entergy and Westinghouse. It was cool that they invited me.

"It was fun to play with things like grandstands and having a caddie. Even the driving range was so nice and the course was really beautiful."

De Silvestro took up the sport when she was 12 or 13 in her native Switzerland, which doesn't quickly come to mind as a European golf destination (it has about 60 courses).

"That's when they just opened a course about 5 minutes from our house," she said. "That's where I first started, me and my dad. I started watching golf on TV last year and started to get into it. I got new clubs and started playing more often. I'm still not great, but it's a fun game and it kind of gets your mind off all the craziness we go through (during the IZOD IndyCar Series season)."

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More than 80 Boy Scouts and Webelos from the Mid-Iowa Council visited Iowa Speedway on Friday as part of a post-school year field trip to the track ..

The trip was used emphasize how science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) are woven into the IZOD IndyCar Series and the students' everyday life. STEM is part of a Boy Scouts of America initiative to use the IZOD IndyCar Series as a platform to expose members to and cultivate their interest in potential career paths that require critical thinking and innovation.

"It's what the future is for these students," said Scout Master Tim Linahon of Newton his troop listened to INDYCAR vice president of technology Will Phillips explain why carbon fiber instead of sheet metal sheaths the new Dallara chassis. "Some kids have a natural instinct to be curious, but the more you expose them to all the technology in the (IZOD IndyCar Series) the more interest there will be. I think this is wicked cool."

The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which started the STEM program in January 2011, is a promotional partner with INDYCAR. Such track visits, driver meet-and-greets and Pinewood Derby events associated with select IZOD IndyCar Series race weekends complement members cheering on the Boy Scouts of America car driven by James Jakes for Dale Coyne Racing on the racetrack.

Additionally, what's developed at the racetrack, such as the new 2.2-liter, turbocharged V-6 engine that runs on E85 supplied by Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus for the IZOD IndyCar Series cars, soon will be in the scouts' driveways.

"It's one of the reasons we got into INDYCAR - the relevance of the turbocharger, direct injection, smaller displacement engines with similar power outputs, focusing on fuel economy" said Chris Berube, Chevrolet's INDYCAR program manager. "They're all things in a race car that are relevant to their personal car. The bigger picture is getting high-technology manufacturing back in the United States. The more people that are interested in engineering the more likely we'll manufacture items in this country and bring our economy back."

***

IZOD IndyCar Series officials issued a competition bulletin today about the heat races which will set the field for the Iowa Corn Indy 250.

Under Rule 8.5.1.2 During the second practice, if a car interferes with another car as determined by the Race Director, the car will lose its two fastest laps on the first offense and will have all laps voided and will be prohibited from participating in the remainder of the session following the second offense.

***

#38 Rahal has been given a 10 grid spot penalty following an unapproved engine change following the first practice.

***

In honor of Take Your Dog to Work Day today, Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti brought his German Shepherd Leroy to his team's garage after IZOD IndyCar Series practice.

Andretti bought the Leroy - who is trained as a protection dog - for his wife, Jodi earlier this week. Leroy is attending his first race this weekend at Iowa Speedway and will attend all races that Jodi Andretti plans to attend.

"He was watching the cars go around earlier," Michael Andretti said. "I think he likes being here."

Take Your Dog to Work Day began in 1999 to celebrate dogs as companions and to promote adoptions by showing off the bond between dog and owner.

***

Selected quotes from Tony Kanaan's media availability:

TONY KANAAN (No. 11GEICO/Mouser Electronics KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "It's always good to be back here. It's a place I've always enjoyed. When you have good results at a race track, you always look forward to coming back. I have mixed feelings about the heat races tonight, but my mom always told me, and I remember when I was a little kid, I would never try any new type of food. I would say, 'I don't like it.' And she would always say, 'You can't say you don't like before you try it.' We'll see. It will be different. The second session this afternoon will turn into a qualifying match because everyone is going to be trying to get in the top eight. I think on a positive note, we'll be able to understand what we need for the car tomorrow. But I won this race starting from 15th. We have a 10 grid penalty for an engine change, so if I start 15ht tomorrow I'll be happy. (About today being Dan Wheldon's birthday): "I could not forget his birthday, especially To be at this track where he was very good. It is a sweet coincidence having a race weekend on his birthday at a place he liked so much. Hopefully we'll make him proud and wish him a Happy Birthday wherever he is." (About bumps on straights): "They did a great job fixing the bump in Turn 1. It's still a bit bumpy, but it's a characteristic of the track and it makes a difference in the race. If you have a good racecar or you don't have a good car, you can dial it in for the bumps. I think as a racecar driver you don't want any bumps, but I don't see it as a problem. I see it as a characteristic of the track."

***

Bryan Herta Autosport announced today that Anders Krohn will pilot the No. 28 entry for the Firestone Indy Lights race this weekend at Iowa Speedway.

Through the 115-lap FIL race, Krohn aims to create awareness for the I-Tec and Yellow Jacket 'Wanna Frac More?' campaign, which showcases their supreme technology in Hydraulic Fracturing. In addition, Premiere Glass & Mirror will make their racing sponsorship debut on BHA's No. 28 car.

"It was a great pleasure to work with Bryan Herta Autosport in Indianapolis and I feel like collectively, we have some unfinished business," said Krohn. "Therefore, I'm thrilled to be back with them at Iowa. I'm really looking forward to a strong showing for my sponsors, i-Tec, Yellow Jacket and Premiere Glass & Mirror.

"BHA is such a tight-knit group and I feel very fortunate to have such quality people working on my behalf. A special thanks to Bryan Herta and Steve Newey for working tirelessly to help me put this deal together."

***

Selected quotes from Sam Schmidt's media availability

SAM SCHMIDT: "It's been fantastic in so many ways. We started off with Thiago (Medeiros) in 2004 with six wins and the all-time best is Alex Lloyd with eight (wins). It's a great milestone, but at the same time, when you saw the Indy 500 and of the 33 drivers on the grid nine were that were picked from our program. That's almost as much of a tick on the checklist as anything and a tribute to Chris Griffis because he built the team. (Which win is most special?): "The seven of nine at Indy. I don't know if you can pick from one of those, but to win seven of nine at Indy is special. I think the year with Alex Lloyd (2007) where nothing could go wrong in that season and gosh, I think the first one with Thiago was a breakthough. The one that may standout was last year at Indy (Josef Newgarden) because it was the last one with Chris Griffis. To see him in Victory Lane with the trophy is something I won't forget."

***

#77 Pagenaud has been given a 10 grid spot penalty following an unapproved engine change following the second practice.

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES QUALIFYING HEAT RACE #1 RUNNING:

6:14 p.m. - Command to start engines. All cars are running and rolling on the grid.

Lap 1: GREEN. #38 Rahal leads the field into Turn 1.

Lap 5: #38 Rahal leads #67 Newgarden by .6711 of a second.

Lap 10: #38 Rahal leads #67 Newgarden by 1.6584 seconds.

Lap 20: #38 Rahal leads #67 Newgarden by 4.7571 seconds.

Lap 25: #38 Rahal leads #67 Newgarden by 5.1957 seconds.

Lap 29: WHITE: #38 Rahal leads #67 Newgarden by 6.5183 seconds.

Lap 30: CHECKERED: #38 Rahal wins Heat #1 by 6.2143 seconds.

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES QUALIFYING HEAT RACE #2 RUNNING:

At 6:30 p.m., the ambient temperature was 84 degrees with a relative humidity of 35 percent. Skies were sunny. The track temperature was 105 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

6:44 p.m. - Command to start engines. All cars are running and rolling on the grid.

Lap 1: GREEN. #8 Barrichello leads the field into Turn 1.

Lap 5: 0620 for the lead

Lap 6: #98 Tagliani makes bid for the lead in turn 1. #11 Kanaan passes #8 Barrichello on outside of Turn 4.

Lap 11: #98 Tagliani leads #11 Kanaan by .7985 of a second.

Lap 15: #98 Tagliani leads #11 Kanaan by .6700 of a second.

Lap 20: #11 Kanaan makes bid for the lead on the outside of Turn 1 and completes the pass off of Turn 4. He leads at the line by .8413 of a second.

Lap 25: #11 Kanaan leads #98 Tagliani by 1.9685 seconds.

Lap 29: WHITE: #11 Kanaan leads #98 Tagliani by 3.8583 seconds.

Lap 30: CHECKERED. #11 Kanaan wins Heat #2 by 3.1255 seconds.

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES QUALIFYING HEAT RACE #3 RUNNING:

At 7 p.m., the ambient temperature was 84 degrees with a relative humidity of 35 percent. Skies were sunny. The track temperature was 102 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

7:14 p.m. - Command to start engines. All cars are running and rolling on the grid.

Lap 1: Initial start waved off.

Lap 2: GREEN. #26 Andretti leads the field into Turn 1.

Lap 5: #26 Andretti leads #10 Franchitti .3104 of a second.

Lap 8: #10 Franchitti takes lead from #26 Andretti on the outside of Turn 4.

Lap 10: #10 Franchitti leads #26 Andretti by .9104 of a second.

Lap 15: #10 Franchitti leads #26 Andretti by 1.5496 seconds.

Lap 16: #3 Castroneves passes #26 Andretti for second place on the outside of Turn 4.

Lap 20: #10 Franchitti leads #3 Castroneves by 1.9394 seconds.

Lap 25: #10 Franchitti leads #3 Castroneves by 1.6284 seconds.

Lap 29: WHITE: #10 Franchitti leads #3 Castroneves by 1.6121 seconds.

Lap 30: CHECKERED. #10 Franchitti wins the pole for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 by winning Heat #3 by 1.4671 seconds over #3 Castroneves.

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES QUALIFYING RACES NOTES:

This is Dario Franchitti's second pole of 2012 and his first pole at Iowa Speedway. It is the 28th pole of his Indy car career. Franchitti won the pole at Milwaukee last weekend. It is the 77th pole in Indy car racing for Chip Ganassi Racing and the third time a Ganassi car has started on pole at Iowa Speedway. Helio Castroneves qualified second, his second front-row start in 2012. He started on pole at Barber Motorsports Park in April. It is his fourth front-row start at Iowa Speedway. Marco Andretti qualified third, his best qualifying performance in 2012. James Hinchcliffe qualified fourth, his fifth top-five start of 2012. Ryan Briscoe qualified fifth, his third top-five start of 2012.

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES QUALIFYING RACES QUOTES:

DARIO FRANCHITI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "We were struggling a little bit this morning with the Target car in race trim but we made it much better in the second session of practice. But the heat (race) the car stuck and we were able to put the Target car around the outside of Marco, kind of liked I watched T.K. (Tony Kanaan) do in the heat race before me. I got out in front and the car felt good - no troubles for the rest of the run with no real fall off till the end of the race. Physically it is a tough track so it will be an interesting race for us tomorrow night. But overall a very good day for the Target boys. Good to be starting up front here for sure."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team RC Cola Chevrolet): ""We really wanted to get the pole, but we were a little off on our gearing for the car. We can work on that for tomorrow - that's really the race that counts. We were pretty good, but we need to give ourselves a little more grip and we can be right there. The RC Cola car was fast all day, so we just need to tune on it a little bit to get back out front when it really means something. We can win it from there."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet): "Honestly, the practice, it was a little bit more risky than actually the race because in the heat race, you really are taking chances and not knowing what other guys are doing, but you know I think if we had to do that again, we should go qualifying one lap or two laps, whatever, to determine where you're going to go for the heats, instead of just going 30 or 45 minutes with everybody out there. So I would have probably suggested, but other than that it was okay. Certainly, 30 laps I believe was enough, but it was getting tough out there. I was able to make a pass on Marco, but then there wasn't enough time to catch Dario, there was not that many cars out there so it was difficult to catch traffic and things like that. For the first time, it was positive in terms of a big lead. Certainly these are the things that we've got to do for the future. In the end of the day I'm happy that we tried (heats) and we will keep discussing and brainstorming all the possibilities so in the future, maybe we'll try different ovals, but for sure here it seemed different. I'm starting on the front row, and that's what I care about right now."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet): ""I think we learned a little bit tonight. I'm actually glad, almost, that we had heat races this weekend because, with so little practice we had so little time to work on our race cars and (the heat races) gave us a good taste of what we are going to see tomorrow night. Obviously, the track conditions will be a bit different, but we learned a bit. It was nice to move the Go Daddy car up a couple of spots because it was tough to pass out there. Ryan (Briscoe) got a bunch of different runs on me, but it's so tough to hold the bottom of the racetrack and our car was working pretty decent up high. We were struggling off of Turn 2 and he was getting some good runs on us. That last lap I started really pushing up the track and my spotter told me Ryan was going high - I had to really try and get out of it; I feel bit bad there so, sorry to him for that. But overall, not a bad night and I'm happy to be starting on the outside of Row Two."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "It was kind of a mixed day. We struggled a little bit, we had some traffic in practice two which set the grid for the heat. We still made it to the top-eight which is what we needed to do. We still weren't real happy with the car so we kind of threw the kitchen sink at it for the heat race and we started on scuffs, six-lap tires, so it was kind of just feeling it out. It was okay, after 20 laps I felt pretty loose so we started to back up towards the end. The No. 10 car seemed to have a good handle on it so we'll look at their stuff tonight but all and all a pretty up-and-down day."

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): ""It was evil. We took it as a practice run because we're starting last anyway because of the engine change. Obviously, we're not where we want to be yet. We're going to think about it over night and come back stronger tomorrow."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 GEICO /Mouser Electronics- KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "Great job by the GEICO | Mouser guys. It's doesn't help getting a 10 grid (spot) penalty, but we will just have to battle from the back. We have a good car. It was nice having the 30-lap race so I can see how my car will react in the race tomorrow and I'm pleased with how it felt."

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus): "Today was a big learning curve. We've never been here with this car; we didn't test here, so we just threw some things at it this morning and it was alright; we worked through it. We learned a lot in the first session, improved it in the second session and I think even in the third session we went a bit quicker, so those are really good things. If we keep progressing like this it really shows that we're a pretty strong team and can improve every session out there. I think we have a good car. We're hoping that tomorrow some people will fall off a little bit like in Milwaukee and that's going to play in our favor. You know if we have a solid car for a full stint, so we'll see. We're just working at it, progressing. I don't think we'll be able to make real passes at real speed, but if people are going to struggle that's where our chance is going to come. We're really going to be ready when that chance comes."

RUBENS BARRICHELLO (No. 8 BMC/Embrase - KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): " "For a rookie it was a great day because I could do a 30 lap mini race. I wasn't sure whether I had a car to win, but it was good to race Tagliani and Kanaan and learn the high and low lines. My car was a little loose in places, but I feel more confident now for the race tomorrow."

E.J. VISO (No. 5 CITGO-PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "Iowa is a place that has provided me with a lot of satisfaction by giving me my first podium finish back in 2010. This race is going to be very challenging. I am starting from the back of the field as a result of a penalty given to us by INDYCAR because we changed the engine under the minimum mileage. This will also be a difficult race because of the change in the downforce rules. We are running a lot less downforce than in the past. Looking ahead, I have a lot of faith in the car that my crew is going to give me. So far I have had strong cars that have allowed me to fight hard in the races. That is what I am looking forward to doing tomorrow.

TAKUMA SATO (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): ""It wasn't an easy day for us; quite difficult actually through the sessions and practice. We made good progress internally but we need a lot more speed. It won't be easy to make progress but surely we will move forward. We will gather all of the data tonight and be prepared for tomorrow. It was good to have a sprint race like this to get a better understanding of the car."

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "That race is pretty much what I expected. Single file. Unless someone's car goes off in a stint, it will be very difficult to pass people. I thought the aero package we tested here was pretty good. But they (INDYCAR officials) changed the package last week for this weekend. I tried to make a move on (Mike) Conway in the low line early, and the car just got too loose. Later in the race we were as fast as the leaders but there was no way to close the gap. I hope it is more exciting on Saturday night than that heat race. We used to put on some good racing at Iowa before and I hope this new package doesn't hurt the racing here. We'll wait and see what happens in the 250-lap race."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 38 Service Central Honda): "Certainly, the car felt really strong. Now, we go into tomorrow night and let's hope we keep that momentum. We know we have a good race car. We'll start 20th so we know we have a lot of work ahead of us but we feel pretty good."

MIKE CONWAY (No. 14 ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "We treated that as a test session and we did get the ABC Supply car more comfortable. We still need to work on some bits and get it more dialed in. It was not an easy day, but it sounds like others had similar things."

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "I was a little surprised by Graham to be honest. I'm just glad we didn't have an incident. He clearly had more speed though. He wanted to go low on the back straight. I had a slow start. It was a lot slower than we predicted when we took off. We just didn't get out of the hole very well. Luckily we were able to hold Viso on the outside. I got a good run on Graham early on. He wanted to go low when he saw I had a run on him. That was fine, so I chose the outside. The next thing I knew, when we got in the corner he was going straight up the race track in front of me. I thought we were going to hit the wall, and I don't know how we didn't. Luckily we didn't tear up any race cars. It's just one of those things. You're always learning new things about your competitors and how you can race people. That will be valuable information for tomorrow. (About his car for tomorrow): "We're going to have to work on our car quite a bit for tomorrow. We need to get a bit more speed. This heat race was only half distance compared to a race stint for us on a set of tires. We need to figure out how the car and tires will handle on the next half of the stint. If we can optimize the car and get a little more out of it we'll be fine for tomorrow. If we can hold the tire degradation tomorrow we'll be competitive."

KATHERINE LEGGE (No. 6 TrueCar Dragon Racing Chevrolet): "The car was much better in the heat race than it was in practice today," continued Legge. "We had a really good test here recently, so we thought we would come back with a really good car for this weekend's race. Seemingly, it wasn't like that, but my crew are some of the best and worked really hard to correct that. We have a little bit of work left to do, but we made some progress and we look forward to tomorrow night. I am really just happy to have the opportunity that TrueCar and my other sponsors have provided. We hope to give them a great show."

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "These heat races were a good chance for the Verizon Team Penske crew to get some racing under our belts and have a better understanding of what to expect during the race. I like the way the car feels and we are ready for a good performance in the race tomorrow."

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinishes Team Penske Chevrolet): ""The heat race was definitely a sprint race and I think we were able to learn some things about how the No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish will perform in tomorrow's race. I felt like I had a good car, we were a little off on the gear ratio which was making the good runs a little difficult to complete. I think it will be a good race tomorrow, it felt like a couple of lanes opened up for good some racing. We are starting fifth and hopefully will have a good race."

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 18 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Honda): "It was a reasonable day. Lots of learning, you know, everyone oval we've been on is quite different, so it's been interesting to see how it plays out each week. I liked the concept of the heat races. We were hoping to move forward a bit, but the car was loose during the heat race, so unfortunas first qualifying lap of 160.066 mph on the .894-mile Iowa Speedway oval paved the way to a two-lap average of 159.973 mph (40.2368 seconds) and the pole position for the Firestone Indy Lights Sukup 100 on June 23.ll manufacture items in this country and bring our economy back.You cantely we couldn't do all we wanted to do. But it was a good opportunity to see what the cars are like, and I think with a little fine tuning it could be a really exciting thing."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet, qualified third): "I think we had a pretty good day. We checked our first box off the list, which was making the fast-eight heat race. We treated the heat as a test session instead of an actual race. We found some things that might work for tomorrow night and we definitely found some things that didn't. We didn't race very impressive, but we kept our starting position of seventh. The Andretti Autosport crew was able to learn some things, which is good. We could have been more aggressive, but we felt like the big picture was to learn more for tomorrow night and that's what we did. Thanks to all of my guys for their hard work and also to DHL and Sun Drop."

JAMES JAKES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): "I think we've got a good race car. I made a mistake on the start which cost us a few positions, but I know the Dale Coyne Racing guys have worked so hard, especially after the contact we had last week. The car has been good in practice, so hopefully we can move forward and make up for it tomorrow."

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