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Aug 27

Chicagoland Speedway qualifying report (+teams & drivers report)

Tagliani and the FAZZT Team looking to move up the field during the race

As he did in 2008 on his first visit to the 2.086-kilometer D-shaped tri-oval Chicagoland Speedway located in Joliet, Illinois, Canadian driver Alex Tagliani has once again qualified 19th out of 29 in Friday’s qualifying session.

The FAZZT Race Team driver will start Saturday’s PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 from the inside of row 10 next to Belgian rookie Bertrand Baguette. There is however a ray of hope for Tagliani in the fact that Brazilian Helio Castroneves won the 2008 race at Chicagoland after starting 28th on the grid.

“I’m very frustrated! It’s disappointing not to have qualified better but the race is obviously what counts,” Alex Tagliani said.

“The mile and a half ovals are all a little different and as a first year team, we are learning a bit each time on them. I think we’ve gained a lot in set up and what we’ve found will be good for the race tomorrow (Sunday), as well as Kentucky and the rest of the season. I know I can rely on the team to give me a good race car and I know that we can move forward from our starting position.”

Ryan Briscoe, who collected his third consecutive Chicagoland pole and his second of the year, will be looking for a back-to-back win on the Illinois track. The Australian driver’s pole was pole number 11 on the year for Team Penske.

Team Chip Ganassi driver Dario Franchitti will start on the outside of the front row next to Briscoe. Eight of the other Team Penske poles were won by Will Power, who was third quickest in qualifying Friday. He will start next to teammate Helio Castroneves. Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal will share row three.

Round 14 of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar schedule is a 200-lap, 483 kilometers race that will run under the lights on Saturday and broadcasted live August 28 on TSN2 starting at 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Live coverage starts at 7:00. Live Timing and Scoring, as well as video coverage of the race are available at www.indycar.com.

Point standings after 13 rounds

With his fifth win of the season at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma last week, Will Power has increased to 59 points his lead over Dario Franchitti in the overall standings.

Power has 514 points to Franchitti’s 455. Scott Dixon remains in third place with 419 points. Ryan Briscoe (385) and Helio Castroneves are fourth and fifth respectively.

As for Tagliani, he moved up one position to 12th overall with 244 points.

source: Max d’Orsonnens

CHICAGOLAND VISION RACING / PANTHER RACING QUALIFYING REPORT

 Prior to qualifying for the PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway Friday afternoon, Vision Racing driver Ed Carpenter was not quite sure how his qualifying run would turn out. He was confident in his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine and his Panther Racing crew, but a broken suspension piece on just his second lap of morning practice kept him from truly getting the car up to speed prior to this afternoon’s qualifying session.

After completing an installation lap in the morning practice session, Carpenter went back out for his first warm up lap when the car bottomed-out over a bump and subsequently broke a suspension piece which then caused Carpenter to sustain light contact with the turn four wall. For the remainder of practice, Carpenter’s Panther Racing crew went to work on the damaged Indycar.

Carpenter was 13th in line to qualify and immediately got his repaired car up to speed; turning in a two-lap average of 214.831 mph. that was provisionally good enough for the fifth position. However, with a full field of 29 cars, Carpenter was eventually relegated to the 11th position; inside of row six and next to Danica Patrick.

The 29 year-old Carpenter is making his 101st career series start at the track where he had his first race in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2003. Since that first start in Sept. 2003 at Chicagoland, Carpenter has participated in seven races on the 1.5-mile oval and gave Vision Racing its best finish in five trips with a fifth place run in 2007. Just last season Carpenter drove to a sixth place finish for Vision at Chicagoland and the team is look forward to a good result in Saturday night’s race at the track given that Carpenter led 34 laps and finished in second place by 0.0162 of a second at the most recent 1.5-mile oval at Kentucky Speedway (August 2009).

Chicagoland Speedway is the first of three ovals, including Kentucky Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway, which Carpenter will race in each of the next three months. It’s no coincidence that Carpenter’s best finishes have some on these ovals and he looks to continue on that precedent.

Meanwhile, team partner, Panther Racing and driver Dan Wheldon qualified the No. 4 National Guard No. 4 Dallara/Honda/Firestone will start the Saturday night race from the seventh position after a two-lap qualifying average of 215.099 mph. The 2005 and 2006 Chicagoland Speedway winner will start from the inside of row four and next to Hideki Mutoh.

IZOD IndyCar Series action will resume Friday evening for practice at 6 p.m. ET and Saturday’s PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil 300 will air live on VERSUS at 8 p.m. ET; as well as IMS Radio Network, XM IndyCar Series Racing Channel 145, XM Sports Nation Channel 144 and on the web at www.IndyCar.com.

Want more Vision Racing news, photos and tidbits from the track? Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/visionracing; follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/visionracing and review our photo stream on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/visionracing.

Qualifying Results and Quotes: (Aug. 27, 2010)

Ed Carpenter – No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Vision Racing/Panther Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone

Two Lap Qualifying Average: 214.831 mph

Starting Position: 11th (Inside Row Six)

On practice and qualifying:

“We got off to a rocky start and didn’t get to practice before qualifying. There’s a big bump between Turn 3 and Turn 4 and we had a problem with the rear suspension that sent me off into the wall during practice this morning. It was unfortunate not to get in some track time but I knew the team set me up with a good car. I messed up the first lap in qualifying a little bit. For not practicing at all we did okay. It’s a tough field but if you play your cards right and do your job, I think the Panther cars are good enough to expect a top 5 and contend for a win. The No.20 Fuzzy Ultra Premium Vodka car had good speed at Indy, (Dan) Wheldon (Panther Racing) was fast at Kansas, so we’re expecting to do well. With my experience at these places combined with Panther Racing who has had a lot of success over the years on mile and a half ovals, I think we are all expecting to be strong in the remaining races.”

On 29 entries for Sat night race:

“There was a big field last year and it makes it fun. It’s encouraging to see. Big car count, crowded pit lane, I think its cool. I’m glad to see us a big field. Even with us having 29 cars for a race, the quality of the field and quality of the drivers is by far the best its ever been so it’s a lot of fun to be part of this series right now.”

Dan Wheldon – No. 4 National Guard/Panther Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone

Two Lap Qualifying Average: 215.099 mph

Starting Position: 7th (Inside Row Four)

On practice and qualifying:

“I think the team has done a really, really good job. We didn’t run as much as we perhaps we would have liked in the practice session, but the National Guard Panther Racing team worked hard and we had a good, solid qualification run. Tomorrow we just want to drive to the front of the field as quick as we can and stay there. I’ve got a good car and Ed (Carpenter) has a good car and you can see that based on how we qualified and the speeds that we’ve done. It’s so competitive out here that it’s a benefit to have information that you can share; not only between us as teammates but also through the team. Ed and I work very, very well together – so if one thing works for one and something else doesn’t work for the other we can combine setups for the race and hopefully have a better overall package because of that. This qualification is just a small part of it and we’ve got a warm-up still to work hard in to make sure we’ve got a good car tomorrow for the race.”

source: VisionRacing.com

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO REMAINS IN THE HUNT FOR 2010 IZOD INDYCAR SERIES “ROOKIE OF YEAR” HONORS AS SERIES RETURNS TO OVAL RACING

With the last stretch of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series at hand, the series jumps from road courses to ovals. As a rookie in the series, Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing’s Simona De Silvestro has gone from being wide-eyed on oval racing to now looking forward to them as she enjoys the high speed nature of the oval tracks. This week Simona, along with her No. 78 Stargate Resistance Honda/Dallara entry, will tackle the 1.5 mile Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois for the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300. It’s been 9 weeks since Simona has raced on an oval track and with 4 races left in the season and the 2010 IndyCar Rookie of the Year still up for grabs, it is critical that Simona continues her strong performance to remain in contention for the prestigious award.

Simona is coming off a strong road course swing that saw her enjoy her best career finishes. In the last 4 races, Simona has notched 2 Top Ten finishes and was running 6th in the other two races before another driver made contact with her, ending any hopes of logging Top Ten finishes in those races. Nonetheless, Simona and HVM Racing have proven they can consistently run up front. .

The race will be televised live on Versus TV on Saturday, August 28th at 7:00 pm EST. Radio coverage will be provided on XM Radio Channel 145 and SIRIUS Channel 211. Additional coverage will be provided at www.indycar.com .

Simona De Silvestro, Driver No. 78: “I can’t wait to race this weekend. I have never raced at the Chicagoland Speedway but I have seen its races and I’m looking forward to racing there. With the road course portion of the season over, it’s now time to roll up my sleeves and have a strong finish to the season!”

source: Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing

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