Saturday, 04 September 2010 04:00
Page 1 of 2IndyCar Series report - Ed Carpenter claimed his first IZOD IndyCar Series pole position, winning the PEAK Performance Pole Award for the Kentucky Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway.
Carpenter, driver of the #20 Panther/Vision/Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka car became the 10th different pole winner in 11 races at Kentucky with a two lap average of 217.933 mph (48.8958 seconds) on the 1.5 mile oval.
His previous best start was fourth at Michigan in 2006 and Homestead-Miami in '09. The top 23 cars were separated by 1 second.
Will Power (217.829 mph) will start on the front row for the 11th time this season in the #12 Verizon Team Penske car, and potentially put some distance between himself and Dario Franchitti in the championship chase.
Power enters the 200 lap race with a 23 point lead, and Franchitti starts 11th in the #10 Dixie entry for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Carpenter's team-mate for the third time this season, Dan Wheldon, will start a season high third in the #4 National Guard Panther Racing car and Scott Dixon also will be on Row 2 in the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car.
This is the 11th IndyCar Series event held at Kentucky Speedway, Ryan Briscoe is the defending race winner, while Scott Dixon was awarded the Peak Performance Pole Award last year after qualifying was cancelled due to rain.
Briscoe ( 2009,) Scott Dixon (2007 and 2008), Tony Kanaan (2006) are past winners of the event who are entered in the event.
Andretti Autosport drivers Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay tested on the 1.5 mile Kentucky Speedway two weeks ago.
Andretti, who placed third at Chicagoland Speedway on August 28 to lead Hunter-Reay (fourth) and Tony Kanaan (fifth) across the line, believes he's poised to be a contender.
"I've had a podium (third in 2008) here in the past so I'm optimistic that the Meijer car will be a contender this weekend. We need to keep the momentum from Chicago going and I think the three remaining ovals should give a good opportunity to end the season on a high note."
Added Hunter-Reay, who has a high finish of ninth in three races at Kentucky Speedway: "I'm looking forward to the payoff this weekend. As a team, Andretti Autosport has worked very hard to raise its game on the ovals this year and we're seeing the benefits of that hard work. It's great to go to the track every week knowing that Team IZOD will have something to say about the outcome and I expect more of the same at Kentucky."
Vitor Meira made his IZOD IndyCar Series debut in 2002 at Kentucky Speedway. He missed last year's race while recuperating from a back injury suffered in the Indianapolis 500.
"The learning curve was just so steep and I had so much to learn. It was the first time I raced on an oval, the first time I did pit stops, my first time for wheel to wheel racing, so I had a lot to learn. We had 25 cars and I ended up finishing 13th, which was good and the reason is I learned a lot. I remembered in the last 50 laps passing Raul Boesel. I used to watch him when I was in go karts and he was in Formula 1 and Indy cars so it was a cool feeling and from that point on things took off."
Meira, who injured his wrist in an incident at Chicagoland, declared his wrist to be 80 percent.
Also on September 3, Pippa Mann's positive run on ovals continued in Sunoco Pole Qualifying for the Buckle Up Drive Smart Kentucky 100 at Kentucky Speedway as the Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver earned her second pole start of the season.
Mann recorded a two lap average of 190.474 mph (55.9447 seconds) to vault Martin Plowman (190.309 mph) and become the third female to start on the pole at Kentucky Speedway (Sarah Fisher in 2002 and Danica Patrick in 2005 in the IZOD IndyCar Series).
Mann finished a career-best second August 28 in the Chicagoland 100 on that 1.5-mile oval, she also started from the pole this season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Firestone Freedom 100.
Firestone Indy Lights championship points leader J.K. Vernay (189.914) of Sam Schmidt Motorsports will be joined on the second row by Walker Racing's Dan Clarke (190.128).
James Hinchcliffe of Team Moore Racing, the closest pursuer of Vernay for the title, will start fifth (189.914).
IZOD INDYCAR SERIES TECHNICAL INFORMATION FOR THE KENTUCKY INDY 300:
Honda overtake assist
- Overtake assist was introduced to the series in August 2009 and will make be used for the second time at Chicagoland Speedway in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.
- The system employed by Honda Performance Development is an ECU software alteration. It is activated by the driver via a button on the steering wheel and provides an extra 200 RPM (about 10 horsepower) to the Honda Indy V8 engine.
- Parameters are updated before each race weekend to meet the circuit layout.
For the 1.5 mile Kentucky Speedway
- 20 uses
- 12 seconds duration each use
- 10 second recharge period between uses
Firestone Firehawk tyres
Each car receives eight sets (32 tyres) of tyres.
Firestone's tyre specification for Kentucky Speedway was developed from testing at Chicagoland Speedway in June and is the same spec used at the race there last week.
It places new, higher grip tread compounds for the right side tyres onto the same right side tyre constructions used this season at Kansas and Texas, and pairs that with the identical left side tyre construction/compound specs used at Kansas.
AL SPEYER (Executive Director of Firestone Racing):
"Drivers should be happy to know they will be racing on the exact same tyre at Kentucky Speedway that they used with such confidence last weekend at Chicagoland. In fact, Dario Franchitti and his Target Chip Ganassi Racing team had enough confidence to not change tyres on their last pit stop, which gave them enough of an advantage to hang on for a victory and take a big chunk out of Will Power's championship lead with just three races left in the season. No one knows exactly what surprises the Kentucky Indy 300 race has in store, but I can't wait to see it all play out on our Firestone Firehawk race tyres."
PEAK PERFORMANCE POLE QUALIFYING NOTES:
- Ed Carpenter won the PEAK Performance Pole Award for the Kentucky Indy 300. This is Carpenter's first career IZOD IndyCar Series pole. His previous best career start was fourth (Michigan 2006, Homestead 2009).
- Carpenter is the 10th different pole sitter in 11 IZOD IndyCar Series race at Kentucky Speedway.
- Will Power qualified second, his 11th front row start of the 2010 season.
- Dan Wheldon qualified third, his best starting position of the season. His previous best start was seventh at Chicagoland.
- Bertrand Baguette qualified sixth, a career best IZOD IndyCar Series start. His previous best start was 13th at Infineon.
- Mario Moraes qualified seventh, his season best start. His previous best start this season ninth (Texas, Watkins Glen).
Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, IRL Medical director:
"Ryan Hunter-Reay was checked and released from the Infield Care Center. He is cleared to drive."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#37 Team IZOD):
"We were just being way too aggressive on trying to get the car as free and as neutral as possible in qualifying. Just trying to qualify up a little higher. The track gripped up, definitely got looser. So when we went out, combined with the changes we made, it was too loose. It gave me a little warning sign there in Turns 3 and 4. It kind of got a little loose and then coming out of Turn 1, it did a big wiggle and I couldn't get it back."
PEAK PERFORMANCE POLE QUALIFYING RESULTS:
||Simona de Silvestro