Team Penske Tough In IndyCar Qualifying

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 9 2011

Will Power was fastest in qualifying in Alabama. (File photo courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series)


Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park will start with a Team Penske front row.

Will Power won the pole for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Saturday while Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe was second fastest.

“It was very tiring but we saved it until the end and put a good lap together,” Power said. “I’m happy to have the the No. 12 Verizon car up front again.  It’s really important to start from the front at this track. I feel we should have won the race last year with the speed we had, so we’re pretty focused on the strategy.”

Briscoe said, “Well, at least I was beaten by the guy who no one seems to be able to beat in qualifying. The car is feeling great this weekend; we really unloaded strong and we’ve been right up there in every practice session. Wish we could have gotten the pole, but we got the front row. It’s going to be a long race and I’m looking forward to it because I need to get some points back from St. Petersburg.”

A third Penske teammate, Helio Castroneves, was fourth fastest and will start from the second row.

Breaking up the Penske dominance was Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing. He qualified third fastest.

“At the end of the (Firestone Fast Six) on the second run tires the car was so loose I couldn’t get into the corner,” Dixon said. “The weather conditions can play havoc on the way the car handles, which we saw yesterday after the rain, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that and hopefully have good balance.”

Danica Patrick of Andretti Autosport qualified 22nd.

“Today’s qualifying run wasn’t the result we were looking for,” she said. “We’ll have to play it smart and work our way through the field to have a successful race for the GoDaddy.com car. Hopefully there will be some opportunities for us to make some advances in the field. We’ll just have to play it safe and work hard tomorrow.”

Sebastien Bourdais, who did not start the opener because of damage sustained to the car during the morning warm-up, will start 20th in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car for Dale Coyne Racing.

Qualifying results or the race:

1. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 01:11.4546 (115.878)

2. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 01:11.7361 (115.423)

3. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 01:11.8826 (115.188)

4. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.1247 (114.801)

5. (22) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.3085 (114.509)

6. (2) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.4394 (114.302)

7. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 01:11.7090 (115.467)

8. (06) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 01:11.8183 (115.291)

9. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 01:11.8672 (115.213)

10. (38) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 01:11.9712 (115.046)

11. (5) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.1667 (114.734)

12. (77) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.3485 (114.446)

13. (78) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.2559 (114.593)

14. (17) Raphael Matos, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.4094 (114.350)

15. (4) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.2684 (114.573)

16. (27) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.5191 (114.177)

17. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.3370 (114.464)

18. (59) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.6582 (113.958)

19. (14) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.5677 (114.100)

20. (19) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.6896 (113.909)

21. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.5857 (114.072)

22. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.7257 (113.852)

23. (24) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.5900 (114.065)

24. (82) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.8892 (113.597)

25. (18) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 01:12.7147 (113.870)

26. (34) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Honda, 01:13.0858 (113.292)

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 9 2011
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