IndyCar Series 2010 points leader, Will Power - Penske Racing/Verizon, struggles to maintain the points lead through the "Ovals" section of the first half of the ICS championship season. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2010)
CCWS Transition Players Have Effect On Texas Qualifying
We have hardly caught our collective breaths from the interesting, mistake prone, and Yellow Flag shaped 94th running of the Indianapolis 500 and we are already getting notices about the qualifications being held for the Firestone 550 race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Target Chip Ganassi's Dario Franchitti, the winner of last weeks classic, got aced out by the short oval expert from Penske Racing, Ryan Briscoe who has five P1 finishes on 1.5 mile ovals. What becomes surprising about how the rest of the top five positions in the qualifying field are two notable performances ... notable in that they show the increased participation from drivers and teams that are in the IRL because of the merger with the ChampCar World Series two seasons ago.
The driver stand out is, of course, Will Power who is driving for the top notch IRL Penske Racing team and leads in the points, by eleven points over Dario Franchitti, for the 2010 IndyCar Series season so far. Lining up in P3 shows that he likes the banks of Texas Motor Speedway. If Power can stay ahead of Dario, Dario's teammate Scott Dixon (who qualified at P4 and is -24 points), and Will's teammate Helio Castroneves (starts the race at P5 and is sitting at -28 in the ICS championship) he may just come away from the Firestone 550 with only one more oval to go in Iowa, before getting back to the road and street courses that are his strong suit, with the points lead.
The CCWS transition team surprise standout is the entry driven by Alex Lloyd who was able to place his Dale Coyne Racing Dallara on the grid at P6! Dale Coyne continues to advance within the structure provided by the IZOD IndyCar Series. Last year with Justin Wilson driving (who now races for Dreyer % Reinbold Racing), Dale Coyne Racing won its first race in American open-wheel racing after competing in ChampCar/Cart and the IRL since 1986 ... that's 558 tries – after more than 25 years of trying – in top tier open-wheel racing. Alex Lloyd, by placing a Dale Coyne car on the grid at P6 on an oval racing track, has been able to move the team's success forward here in 2010.
Newman/Haas Racing was able to field a Dallara good enough to get Hideki Mutoh in the grid at P7 leaving Mario Moreas of KV Racing Technologies as the last CCWS Team or driver (in this case both) to break into the top 10 on the banked short oval track at Texas that had a very tight and competitive field - the top five qualifiers were separated by only 0.3912 of a second and the top 10 by 0.6777 of a second.
Alex Lloyd in the Boy Scouts of America/Dale Coyne Racing Dallara during Day 4 practice day at IMS. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2010)
This excerpted and edited from Catchfence -
Briscoe Scores Pole for Firestone 550k at Texas
Press Release - IZOD IndyCar
Two of Ryan Briscoe’s five IZOD IndyCar Series victories have been secured on 1.5-mile ovals.
He’ll start from the pole in seeking a third. Briscoe, driving the No. 6 Team Penske car, recorded a four-lap average speed of 215.273 mph (1 minute, 37.3275 seconds) to earn the PEAK Performance Pole Award for the Firestone 550K at Texas Motor Speedway.
Dario Franchitti, seeking to be the third consecutive Indianapolis 500 champion to win at Texas in the same year, was 0.0057 of a second off Briscoe’s pace. He’ll start on the outside of the front row for the 228-lap race under the lights after an average of 215.261 mph.
Briscoe earned the 10th pole start of his career (second of the season), and has converted one into victory (2009 Chicagoland Speedway).
How they Qualified For The 2010 Firestone 550 At Texas Motor Speedway - Race #7 of 17
(** denotes a driver or team with CCWS transition affiliation)
Pos - Driver - Team - Speed
1. Ryan Briscoe - Penske 215.273mph
2. Dario Franchitti - Ganassi 215.261mph
3. Will Power** - Penske 215.158mph
4. Scott Dixon - Ganassi 215.152mph
5. Helio Castroneves - Penske 214.411mph
6. Alex Lloyd -Dale Coyne** 214.408mph
7. Hideki Mutoh - Newman/Haas** 214.380mph
8. Danica Patrick - Andretti 214.098mph
9. Mario Moraes** - KV** 213.800mph
10. Marco Andretti - Andretti 213.785mph
11. Takuma Sato - KV** 213.692mph
12. Justin Wilson** - Dreyer & Reinbold 213.602mph
13. Tony Kanaan - Andretti 213.346mph
14. EJ Viso** - KV** 213.336mph
15. Dan Wheldon - Panther 213.316mph
16. Sarah Fisher - Sarah Fisher 213.256mph
17. Milka Duno - Dale Coyne** 213.222mph
18. Tomas Scheckter - Dreyer & Reinbold 212.904mph
19. Vitor Meira - Foyt 212.805mph
20. Alex Tagliani** - Fazzt 212.526mph
21. Jay Howard - Sarah Fisher 212.448mph
22. Bertrand Baguette - Conquest** 212.349mph
23. Raphael Matos** - De Ferran Dragon 212.327mph
24. Ryan Hunter-Reay - Andretti 212.298mph
25. Mario Romancini - Conquest** 212.101mph
26. Simona de Silvestro** - HVM** 211.289mph
This very fast banked bull-ring of a venue will have these open-wheel Dallara's running side-by-side at over 200 miles per hour throughout the whole race and will probably end with a less than a second seperation ... Photo Finish!
The Firestone 550 is set to be broadcast live at IndyCar Series on VERSUS - Watch the Texas Motor Speedway Race. Saturday June 5 - 8:00PM est - Versus.com
... notes from The EDJE