Avondale, Arizona (April 1, 2016) – Dale Coyne Racing drivers Luca Filippi and Conor Daly qualified respectively 16th and 18th at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday for tomorrow’s Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix.
It was the first one-mile oval qualifying session for both drivers and while the final results were not what they truly wanted, the pair gained valuable experience in this new environment that will serve them well later on.
Conor Daly was the sixth Verizon IndyCar Series driver to take to the track for his two timed laps. The rookie put in a lap of 20.0226 seconds followed by a lap of 19.9121 seconds, which temporarily placed him fifth with an average speed of 184.261 mph.
His teammate Filippi took to the track nine cars later and registered a first lap of 19.8442 seconds and a second lap of 19.7567 seconds. His average speed of 185.814 mph provisionally placed him 11th.
Filippi would find himself 16th and Daly 18th on the starting grid once all cars had made their qualifying attempt.
The second round of the Verizon IndyCar Series season goes green at 9:15pm ET (6:15pm local) and will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 8:30pm ET.
Dale Coyne Racing Driver Quotes
Luca Filippi – #19 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q
“Everything is new for me and it was my very first time qualifying on an oval. I have to say it was fast, even if I wasn’t the fastest! It’s amazing driving these cars on an oval and I loved it. I’m eager to get more experience and push the guys to push the limit higher and higher. We had a margin that we could have played with but we didn’t want to take risks. For tomorrow, it’s looking good. We have to work a lot on dealing with traffic but so far I love it. Very fun.
“I know there’s a lot to learn and that it’s difficult. I can’t just jump in a car and pretend to be as fast as the top guys but I want to be that fast one day. It will take a lot of work but I’ll try.”
Conor Daly – #18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality & Restaurant Group
“I played it too safe. I didn’t get up to speed as quickly as I needed to and it’s just tough to do that when you’re on that much of an edge. I’m still learning so a lot of it was all down to me. It’s also the first time that I was in this type of a qualifying format and you take the green pretty quickly! Of all of our runs in practice, our fastest laps were on laps four or five so that’s just something that I have to get used to. For us, I think it was the best thing to play it safe today because the last thing we need is a crashed car.”