ANDRETTI SECURES VERIZON P1 AWARD FOR MILWAUKEE INDYFEST

Story posted - Jun 15 2013 12:13 AM

ANDRETTI SECURES VERIZON P1 AWARD FOR MILWAUKEE INDYFEST

WEST ALLIS, Wis. - Marco Andretti is halfway to securing the best Father's Day present for his dad, who happens to be the team owner.

Marco Andretti, who trails Helio Castroneves in the championship standings, earned the Verizon P1 Award for the Milwaukee IndyFest June 15, trimming the Brazilian's points lead by one point. Driving the No. 25 RC Cola car, he buried the racetrack two-lap qualifying record set in 2012 by Dario Franchitti (168.737 mph average) with an average speed of 170.515 mph.

"So far, that was about as good as we could run, so I'm pleased," said Andretti, who earned his first pole in the series at Milwaukee in 2008. "I think the RC Cola car will be tough to beat. A win would be huge. I told Dad that hopefully (the pole) is only half of his Father's Day gift."

Michael Andretti earned five Indy car victories as a driver and has four as a team owner at The Milwaukee Mile. Andretti Sports Marketing, an arm of Andretti Autosport, is the promoter of the event this weekend.

Andretti is the sixth different pole winner in nine races this season. There have been seven different winners representing five teams. James Hinchcliffe is the lone two-time winner, and he'll start next to his teammate on the front row -- tying his series best in 2012 at Barber Motorsports Park -- in the No. 27 GoDaddy.com car. Hinchcliffe recorded the fastest lap of the weekend (170.868 mph) on Lap 1 of qualifying.

"Don't tell Marco, but the outside is way better on the start," Hinchcliffe said. "That is what I was going for."

Defending race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay (170.100) and E.J. Viso (169.828) -- the other two Andretti Autosport drivers -- qualified fourth and fifth, respectively. Will Power broke up the Andretti Autosport roll by qualifying third (170.212) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.

Sebastian Saavedra qualified a career-best sixth in the No. 6 Dragon Racing car, while Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan qualified seventh and Josef Newgarden made it two in a row in the top 10.

Castroneves, a three-time pole winner at Milwaukee and the race winner at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8, tied his season low by qualifying 18th in the No. 3 PPG Team Penske car.

Also on June 14, Sage Karam earned his second consecutive Sunoco Pole Award with a two-lap average speed of 146.798 mph in qualifications for the Firestone Indy Lights Milwaukee 100 on June 15.

Karam, 18, of Nazareth, Pa., driving the No. 8 Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian car, started from the pole May 24 in the Firestone Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and finished third in the race that marked the closest margin of victory on the historic 2.5-mile oval.

DAY 1 NOTEBOOK:

The IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in the Milwaukee IndyFest, a 228-lap race at 4:40 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. Firestone Indy Lights will compete in the Milwaukee 100, a 100-lap race at 2 p.m. (ET on Saturday. The Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires, the second rung on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, will compete in a 100-lap race at 7 p.m. (ET) today.

***

Pre-practice Quotes from IZOD IndyCar Series drivers:

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda): "I think the season has been good, not great. The momentum is better than it ever has been. The atmosphere within the team is continuing to stay strong and we have the belief that we will continue to be up front fighting. We were so disappointed last weekend at Texas to have what we thought was a top-10 car and get caught out by two yellows that put us two laps down and that's what we spent the whole race. We were really frustrated even though it was really the first time we had gone to Texas, raced hard and seen the checkered flag and not the Turn 4 wall. It was in that sense a huge step forward, and yet we came away disappointed. I think hopefully this weekend, we can regain that on the results side. We've had good races without great results and not great races and pretty good results. If we can put those together we can run in the top-five and that's our goal for the rest of the year. (About difference from 2012 to 2013): "I think the conversation with the 9 and 10 car has gotten better with only three of us. With four, it was more two, two-car operations, for sure. Being a one-car operation, we're seeing better cooperation and communication among the three of us. You still only have the same amount of time to debrief and work towards qualifying setup. Having three data points instead of four, everyone isn't as overwhelmed. I do think the communication is better. As a team we're working better together." (About his deferral to Stanford): "Going back to college now or whenever I'm done racing when I want to go back to college. I'll be in a position of wanting to go back and wanting to learn with this non-classroom knowledge and experience. If I go back to Stanford or go back to another college it about... In high school it's all about the name of where you go. With a little bit of age and maturity it's about what you put in and what you get out of it than where you go." (Do you think you will go?): "I'd love to go back to college. I don't know if I'd study mechanical engineering having lived it through racing, or study something else fun - math, science. It's true. Renaissance Art History sounds like the seventh circle of hell to me, so if I do go back to school, it's going to be something I want to learn about and contribute somehow. I'd like to do more than just an undergrad degree at some point. If it's a master in a theoretical mathematics or applied mathematics, game theory, something really cool to me."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): "This place here for me, I got my first pole position ever but it did not give me a win yet. It's very fast and unfortunately we have been unable to get the No. 1 spot. Hopefully, we will get it this weekend. We are going to continue to do what we do and what we are doing is right and it is just the circumstances beyond our control. Hopefully this year will be a different way. (About new colors): "We have the new colors now and PPG has had a partnership with PPG for a long time now. It's great to have new colors on the car and we are excited to represent them. Hopefully we will be putting them on the podium as well." (What was your reaction when you found out the car failed inspection?): "I was very shocked because the team did an absolutely amazing job. Like I said, I would not allow this scenario to outshine what we did because even that made my car go actually slower. For us a simple mistake does not justify what we did. For us it is great to have the win and have this momentum and put all of those things behind. Unfortunately it was a little mistake that at times apply because the schedule has been very busy for everyone. And maybe details like that happen just because people are so tired of turning street cars to road course. For me it I was very shocked. (How do you react if you finish second and that happened to the winner?): "It would be shocking as well because it wouldn't have been (expecting it) . I don't think we had a fast car to be honest, we had a consistent car. While people were doing 215 we were doing 214. And while people were doing 205 we were doing 207. We just kept the car a little bit more consistent and it would be a disappointment. But you know mistakes happen and we can't judge that just because of a simple mistake. (What did you think of the Texas Race? I know you won so your view is a little slanted.): "I think there two things here: there was a lot of passing unfortunately, editing on the race probably didn't catch that. I mean I watched the race afterwards. There was a lot of passing but some of that is that the producer did not pick up. With that, it was very difficult and you have to drive the car and it wasn't a typical race that was flat out. I feel that cars that had a better set up went better. Cars that were thinking about the speed didn't go so well. In my view, it was very difficult because you have to think a lot and plan a lot in passing someone. And trying something you don't normally do, different lanes, running high, running low. I thought as a driver it was a big challenge and for me winning the race is a big reward. I think my experience paid off in that race. Sometimes if people didn't see a lot of passing it wasn't that, I think the producer missed a lot of passing. (What is so special about this circuit? What is the secret?): "It is interesting because you carry a lot of downforce. Inside the car you feel like you are going over 200 mph but we are not. We are going about 180 or 190. It shows that you have to drive the car here as well. Because we don't have banking your car changes quite a lot. You know about 20 to 25 laps and you still have 30 more to go and it is still very tough. Because of the turbulence here because of the lines that people are running. It is like a road course of ovals. And that is why it is so much fun. The secret? I won't tell you or it wouldn't be a secret anymore. (You win was the first for Penske or Ganassi this year? Was too much made into that?): "You press obviously want to sell news and this is a type of was to sell news to say Penske didn't win. You have got to say that we have been competitive and I made a mistake the first race of the season. The circumstances are other teams are improving and you have got to say this isn't about Team Penske or Team Ganassi but other teams are stepping up their games. The rules don't allow you to change much so basically there is only so much you can do and a bit credit to the small teams."

***

What type of milk did Tony Kanaan request for his winner's circle celebration following the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race?

The answer: 2 percent

Kanaan, who drank and doused himself in milk May 26 while enjoying his first-time accomplishment, and his KV Racing Technology-SH Racing crew received further congratulations June 14 at The Milwaukee Mile compliments of The Breakfast Project.

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day," said Kanaan, who's competing in the Milwaukee IndyFest this weekend. "Milk has everything a body needs to fuel you for the day and milk has everything to do with the '500' so I have to thank the milk processors."

The Breakfast Project is part of the national got milk? Milk Mustache campaign (@MilkMustache), which the Indy 500 champion would enjoy participating in.

"I've seen a few and I would definitely do it if asked," he said.

***

Of note: The Firestone Firehawks for the Milwaukee IndyFest this weekend are the same compound and construction used for the 2012 race. ... Carlisle Companies will be an associate sponsor of a Team Penske car beginning in 2014.

FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS PRACTICE #1

At 9 a.m., the ambient temperature was 64 degrees with a relative humidity of 55 percent. Skies were fair. The track temperature was 84 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

9 a.m. - GREEN.
9:20 a.m. - YELLOW. #4 Goncalvez spins in Turn 4. Car does not make contact with the wall and continues back to the pit lane.
9:21 a.m. - GREEN.
9:45 a.m. - CHECKERED.

FASTEST TIMES/SPEEDS OF SESSION:

Pos.
Car
Name
Time
Speed


1.
8
Sage Karam
24.7879
147.411 mph

2.
5
Peter Dempsey
25.2295
144.830 mph

3.
2
Juan Pablo Garcia
24.2338
144.806 mph

4.
26
Carlos Munoz
24.3442
144.175 mph

5.
4
Jorge Goncalvez
24.3542
144.118 mph

***

IZOD INDYCAR PRACTICE #1

This 60-minute session is divided into two groups. The first 30 minutes of the session, the track will be open to cars ranked outside the top 10 in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings. The second half of the practice is open to all cars.

At 10 a.m., the ambient temperature was 64 degrees with a relative humidity of 52 percent. Skies were fair. The track temperature was 87 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

10 a.m. - GREEN. Track is open to cars outside the top 10.
10:35 a.m. - YELLOW. #27 Hinchcliffe made light contact with SAFER Barrier in Turn 2 and continued back to the pit lane.
10:39 a.m. - GREEN.
11 a.m. - CHECKERED.

FASTEST TIMES/SPEEDS OF SESSION:


Pos.
Car
Name
Time
Speed

1.
25
Marco Andretti
21.9217
166.684 mph

2.
1
Tony Kanaan
21.9400
166.545 mph

3.
67
Will Power
22.0006
166.086 mph

4.
55
James Jakes
22.0603
165.637 mph

5.
12
Simona De Silvestro
22.0618
165.626 mph

***

The USAC Benevolent Foundation has today announced a $10,000 grant in the memory of Jason Leffler, who was fatally injured in a racing accident Wednesday in New Jersey.

The 501-3C-designated Foundation will also be accepting additional donations earmarked for usage by Jason's son Charlie Dean and Charlie's mother Allison. Leffler was a multiple USAC champion and raced in three IZOD IndyCar Series events in 1999-2000.

A designated cap amount to be announced by the Board of Directors of the Foundation will also result in additional dollar-for-dollar matching funds for this purpose.

"We are devastated by Jason's loss and recognize his long and loyal commitment to USAC racing and to the sport of auto racing in general," says USAC CEO/President Kevin Miller. "We encourage everyone to participate in this worthwhile endeavor as we honor the memory of one of our most cherished champions and appreciate the Foundation Board for their efforts in making this all possible."

All contributions earmarked for the Leffler program, which may include the Charlie Dean Leffler Education Fund, may be directed to the USAC Benevolent Foundation, c/o Executive Director Bill Marvel, 4910 W. 16th Street Speedway, Speedway, Ind. 46224. Marvel may be reached at 859-749-0646 or at billmarvel@gmail.com. Donations should be earmarked for this program.

***

Ed Carpenter Racing team manager Tim Broyles has designed a special decal for the No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet in tribute to Jason Leffler. Broyles offered the special decal to all of the IZOD IndyCar Series teams to carry on their cars during the Milwaukee IndyFest weekend. Team owner/driver Ed Carpenter was a fellow USAC competitor with Leffler in the USAC midget and Silver Crown races in the early 2000s.

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "Our family is extremely saddened by the passing of Jason Leffler in New Jersey. I raced against Jason in USAC and he was an excellent driver and a champion back then. We also worked together for Dollar General when I drove for Sarah Fisher's IndyCar team and he drove for Turner Scott Motorsports in NASCAR. While I had not talked with him in some time, he was always a good guy and a determined racer. Our prayers go out to his family and friends in this very difficult time."

***

FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS PRACTICE #2

At noon, the ambient temperature was 70 degrees with a relative humidity of 49 percent. Skies were fair. The track temperature was 101 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

Noon - GREEN.

12:45 p.m. - CHECKERED.



FASTEST TIMES/SPEEDS OF SESSION:


Pos.
Car
Name
Time
Speed

1.
8
Sage Karam
25.1435
145.326 mph

2.
26
Carlos Munoz
25.1768
145.134 mph

3.
12
Zach Veach
25.3326
144.221 mph

4.
77
Jack Hawksworth
25.5661
142.924 mph

5.
2
Juan Pablo Garcia
25.7536
141.883 mph

IZOD INDYCAR PRACTICE #2

At 1 p.m., the ambient temperature was 73 degrees with a relative humidity of 45 percent. Skies were fair. The track temperature was 106 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

1 p.m. - GREEN.
1:05 p.m. - YELLOW. Track inspection.
1:11 p.m. - GREEN.
1:46 p.m. - YELLOW. Track inspection.
1:54 p.m. - GREEN.
2 p.m. - CHECKERED.

SUNOCO POLE QUALIFYING: (Firestone Indy Lights)

(Cumulative two laps; times and speeds calculated using a traveling distance of 1.015 miles, which corresponds with data registered by on-board telemetry. The green flag is given on the second time by the flag stand.)

At 3:30 p.m., the ambient temperature was 74 degrees with a relative humidity of 40 percent. Skies were sunny. The track temperature was 109 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.


Time of Day

Car

Driver

Time

Speed

Rank


3:30 p.m.

26

Carlos Munoz

50.1204

145.809

1


3:32 p.m.

8

Sage Karam

49.7828

146.798

1


3:35 p.m.

77

Jack Hawksworth

50.1243

144.798

3


3:36 p.m.

12

Zach Veach

49.8124

146.710

2


3:39 p.m.

5

Peter Dempsey

50.0400

146.043

3


3:41 p.m.

4

Jorge Goncalvez

51.0383

143.187

6


3:43 p.m.

2

Juan Pablo Garcia

50.4125

144.964

6


3:45 p.m.

7

Gabby Chaves

50.5399

144.599

7




SUNOCO POLE QUALIFYING NOTES:
•This is Sage Karam's second Firestone Indy Lights pole position and his second-straight pole. He was also on the pole at Indianapolis.
•Zach Veach qualified second. It is his career-best qualifying effort in Firestone Indy Lights. His previous best qualifying was third at Long Beach.
•Peter Dempsey qualified third, matching his best oval qualifying performance in Firestone Indy Lights. He qualified third at Indianapolis last month.



SUNOCO POLE QUALIFYING QUOTES:

SAGE KARAM (No. 8 Schmidt Peterson c/w Curb-Agajanian, Sunoco Pole Award winner): "It is going to be very important to get the lead here right away. So I am going to push pretty good and hopefully get a good lead and put my head down and run consistent laps. Hopefully buildup a big gap and stay comfortable out there. This is a track that gave me my first win with Star Mazda so hopefully it can give me my first win in Indy Lights. It is shaping up to be a good one so far, lets go for a perfect weekend and keep it going. "

ZACH VEACH (No. 12 K12/Andretti Autosport): "A big thanks to the K 12 guys they have been working so hard for us. We came here and tested about a week ago and that really didn't go so well. We had a couple of rookie mistakes. To rebound and be on our first front row in Milwaukee, where we gained our first pole back in 2011 is a really good feeling for us. We have a lot more work to do before the race tomorrow but we will go back and study what we need to. I just want to thank my engineer and my crew guys and Andretti Autosport for making this all possible."

PETER DEMPSEY (No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing): "Considering we're being quite conservative on our tire usage, I'm quite happy to end up third. The car was really hooked up in qualifying. I probably didn't get the most out of it, because I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was compared to our other sessions. I want to say a huge thanks to my team. All of them did such a great job. We know we have a good race car so we're hoping to bring home another win to take the championship lead. That's what counts."

JORGE GONCALVEZ (No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing): "I was trying to do the best I can but the track was so different than it was in the previous sessions we've had. It should be good though because we we're working with a racecar in qualifying and that's what's going to help us for the race tomorrow."

JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 77 Schmidt Peterson c/w Curb-Agajanian): "Yesterday was abysmal in the test for me, and this morning we weren't great either. To turn it around in the second practice session and only miss the top-e by a tenth of a second was great. This is obviously not where I wanted to qualify, but the pace was better so I'm happy with the improvement."

GABBY CHAVES (No. 7 Schmidt Peterson c/w Curb Agajanian): "I think we have a good car compared to the previous practice sessions. I just didn't have the confidence going out, and when I noticed that the car was good I just didn't have enough time to push for better lap times. I've learned from today and want to go out there and do better next time."

QUALIFYING FOR THE VERIZON P1 AWARD:

(Cumulative two laps; times and speeds calculated using a traveling distance of 1.455 miles, which corresponds with data registered by on-board telemetry. The green flag is given on the second time by the flag stand.)

At 4 p.m., the ambient temperature was 72 degrees with a relative humidity of 41 percent. Skies were sunny. The track temperature was 106 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.




Time of Day

Car

Driver

Time

Speed

Rank


4:15 p.m.

3

Helio Castroneves

43.7126

167.169

1


4:17 p.m.

83

Charlie Kimball

44.5273

164.124

2


4:19 p.m.

78

Simona De Silvestro

44.8658

162.886

3


4:21 p.m.

14

Takuma Sato

43.4940

168.023

1


4:23 p.m.

27

James Hinchcliffe

42.8899

170.418

1


4:24 p.m.

15

Graham Rahal

44.7713

163.230

5


4:26 p.m.

10

Dario Franchitti

43.6917

167.230

3


4:28 p.m.

6

Sebastian Saavedra

43.0560

169.732

2


4:30 p.m.

1

Ryan Hunter-Reay

42.9629

170.100

2


4:32 p.m.

5

E.J. Viso

43.0317

169.828

3


4:33 p.m.

19

Justin Wilson

43.3935

168.412

5


4:35 p.m.

11

Tony Kanaan

43.1196

169.482

5


4:37 p.m.

98

Alex Tagliani

43.6267

167.512

8


4:38 p.m.

20

Ed Carpenter

44.3455

164.797

11


4:40 p.m.

67

Josef Newgarden

43.1247

169.462

6


4:42 p.m.

4

Ryan Briscoe

44.0865

165.765

12


4:44 p.m.

25

Marco Andretti

42.8584

170.515

1


4:46 p.m.

55

Tristan Vautier

43.1877

169.215

8


4:48 p.m.

12

Will Power

42.9347

170.212

3


4:49 p.m.

77

Simon Pagenaud

43.1366

169.311

9


4:51 p.m.

16

James Jakes

43.3786

168.470

11


4:53 p.m.

9

Scott Dixon

43.2887

168.820

11


4:54 p.m.

7

Sebastien Bourdais

43.4636

168.141

14


4:56 p.m.

18

Ana Beatriz

44.1935

165.364

20




QUALIFYING FOR THE VERIZON P1 AWARD NOTES:

· This is Will Power's first Verizon P1 Award of 2013. It the third pole of his Indy car career, and his second pole at The Milwaukee Mile. He won his first career pole here in 2008.
· James Hinchcliffe qualified second. It matches his career best qualifying effort of second from Barber 2012.
· E.J. Viso qualified fifth, his sixth-straight top-five start.
· Career Best IZOD IndyCar Series start for the following driver:
Sebastian Saavedra - 6th (Started 9th at St. Pete & Barber 2013)
· Career Best Milwaukee Starts for the following drivers
Sebastian Saavedra - 6th (Started 24th in only previous start at MIL)
Josef Newgarden - 7th (Started 17th in only previous start at MIL)
James Jakes - 14th (Started 16th at MIL in 2012)

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES:

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet): "The RC Cola car has been hooked up since we rolled off the trailer, so very pleased with that. Chevrolet has done a great job as well, but I'm even more pleased because I think we have a heck of a race car underneath us too." (What a win would mean at Milwaukee) "It'd be huge. I told Dad that hopefully [the pole] is only half of his Father's Day gift. I mean, it'd be great because [Andretti Sports Marketing] is promoting this thing too."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet): ""Don't' tell Marco but the outside is way better on the start. That is what is what I was going for! It was a hell of a team effort, look at that 4 out of the Top 5 guys. Will ruined the Andretti Autosport Parade and everybody on the team deserves such credit after the practice that we had. Man, the third time starting second, I mean like it's always the bridesmaid, never the bride. I mean I won that pole so bad. For where we were especially at practice, the front row, I will take it! "

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): ""We've had a good Verizon car all day. I thought we might have enough for pole today but I made a little mistake on the last lap and we just missed it. Starting third is a good position for us tomorrow. I think the Verizon Chevy will be pretty good in the race. We're not sure what the weather will be - we hope the rain stays away, especially for the fans - but it should be a good race."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 1 DHL Chevrolet): ""We had a great car, and we just got a little carried away with trying to help the car turn - that's what beats a lap time here. We missed the pole by just a little bit last year, so we felt we needed to go get it today. We just over-stepped it today. It's easy to do here at Milwaukee, but we'll have a good No. 1 DHL Chevrolet for tomorrow, I promise you that."

E.J. VISO (No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA Citgo Chevrolet): ""Probably the first lap I didn't get the maximum out of the car. I was a little bit cautious... I had a moment in Turn 1 on my out lap. Anyways, I think we have a pretty strong car and I'm really looking forward to this race. I believe we have a pretty good setup that we've been working on and developing. Congratulations to my teammate Marco (Andretti) on his pole position."

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda): ""Overall, today's been pretty good. We had a pretty good qualifying run and we spent a lot of time focusing on the race car today in practice. It wasn't great but we made a lot of progress with it and I think we're in really good shape heading into tomorrow. I know the guys will do a really great job in the pit lane, both in our strategy and in our pit stops, so we're in a good position to go racing tomorrow."

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): ""It felt good out there. We maximized what we could for today and I think we have an even better car for the race tomorrow, and that's when it counts. I'm excited for Saturday. I think we learned a lot about our racecar in practice. We tuned it and made it better from our starting package, which was already good, so we should be really strong for the race."

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): ""We hit the hard limiter, which really hurt us in qualifications. The balance was nice in my car. It was awesome in Turns 1 and 2, and then a bit loose in Turns 3 and 4. It was a bit loose overall but good enough for me to stay full-throttle for both qualifying laps. I enjoy this track so much because it honestly drives more like a road course than an oval. It's all about finding the right balance here to have a strong race car. It's good to be up front here because passing is difficult with tire wear. It's a challenge but we set this car up for the race, and it's going to be a manner of having strong in and out laps."

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): """The Fuzzy's Vodka car just hasn't been as good as we would like it. We had a little problem in the morning practice and we lost some valuable track time. But we have been chasing the proper setup all day now. Last year, we didn't qualifying well but the car worked pretty well in the race. The track here is always a little tricky here and the race is a tough one. We are going an extra 25 laps this time, so I'm hoping we can repeat our run of last year when we fought up to the top-five before finishing eighth."

TRISTAN VAUTIER (No. 55 coastal.com Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): " "We had an awesome pace in the first practice session this morning, and then we really struggled this afternoon. We were a bit uncertain of how we would qualify but it was a decent run. I was pretty happy about the car. If someone would have told me we would run that speed before qualifications I don't think I would have believed them." (About tomorrow's race): "It's going to be very difficult to have a car that works well in traffic here. The trick is going to be getting a car that can be quick behind other drivers and run different lines. It's going to be a long race and I still have a lot to learn in the long runs on ovals. I don't set objectives for the race but I'll be focusing on being clean the entire day on-track as well as in pit stops."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "I think if you look through the timing and scoring from the first session in the morning, the car wasn't that bad, it's just that a lot of the other teams ahead of us ran another set of new tires. The second session was a lot better and we moved up into the top three overall which was encouraging for the Target team. In qualifying the car was ok, we just didn't think we'd see such a jump in speeds overall. We missed on the balance a little bit but we might have gained a tenth. It seems like two distinct kind of groups out there...Chevys or Hondas. I think we need to do some work, but the race car is decent. We'll just have to wait and see how we shape up after 250 laps tomorrow."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Kimberly Clark Honda): "I got everything I could get out of the car. But we just haven't been very good overall today with the Huggies car. We've been searching for some front grip, and we found a little too much out there in qualifying unfortunately. It's just a little bit frustrating right now for us."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Hydroxycut KVRT-SH Racing Chevrolet): ""We got a little messed up with the qualifying trim this morning, so I really didn't know what I had before my actual qualifying run. We got the most out of the car today. Tomorrow is when it really counts. I also have to say it is nice to see all Chevy's at the front of the grid."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Midas/Big O Tires Honda): "This is always a good race. The (handling of the) cars are going to go off a lot. We will start in the back so we just have to make sure we have a good car. I've never made as many big setup changes for qualifying as we did just then but to be honest the Midas / Big O Tires car was absolutely fantastic in Turns 1 and 2 but obviously you could see the understeer in the rest; the front (of the car) just gave up; it wouldn't hold. We won't be doing that pace in the race and I feel pretty good about the race car. After how good it was in Turns 1 and 2 on that first lap I probably overestimated how good it was going to be in Turn 3 and 4. It just didn't want to turn. It heated up between practice sessions today. The car wasn't as slow as the lap time showed; I think we were probably a top-12 car. But I was really struggling with understeer a lot and it wasn't getting any better so we decided to do something pretty big to get some understeer out of it and we changed three or four big things and it worked. I was very pleased with the car in Turns 1 and 2 but we have to find grip off of Turns 3 and 4. I've qualified up front here and faded in the race and I've seen a lot of guys do the opposite. We've just got to hope we're doing the opposite."

JAMES JAKES (No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Honda): "I went too aggressive with the tools in the cockpit on the out lap and I nearly crashed on my warm-up lap. Then I came back with the tools and maybe didn't need to but we are starting 12th. It was a perfect lap but good enough for 12th. It's a shame because I think we could have been a little higher up but to save it after the out lap was pretty good. In previous years, after that we would have started in the back so it was nice to kind of save it. The Acorn Stairlifts car was quick last weekend, we just didn't manage to pull of the strategy. Hopefully we can pull off a good finish this weekend. It's a long race tomorrow and strategy will be key."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): "Wow, that was a tough qualifying - one of the toughest of my career. The PPG Team Penske Chevrolet has been good all day but I think we got a little greedy there. We took a gamble on the downforce, going really low thinking that that the track would be better and it just wasn't. The car got sideways a couple of times and I'm just glad the car came in on all four wheels. We have a little of work to do tomorrow in the race but we'll be ready and hopefully fight for our first win in Milwaukee."

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet): "Qualifying was fine for us, and I was easy flat. When you have new tires, it masks everything and you can be flat no problem. But it's when you're running in traffic I think everybody needs a little more downforce. I think the race will be too spread out and we may not have much racing going on, so I hope they let us put in a little more downforce. But apart from that I'm really happy to be back in the car with Panther and with Chevy, and this is my first time ever with the National Guard, which is so much more than a sponsor. So I'm very honored to be driving their car, so hopefully I can give them a race tomorrow that will make them proud too."

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 6 Dragon Racing Chevrolet): "I am very happy with putting the #6 TrueCar Dragon Racing car up front. It's defiantly a great feeling for all of the guys and a huge boost of motivation. It is very important to qualify up front here in Milwaukee due to the lack in passing opportunities. We really went aggressive on our first qualifying lap and it paid off. I am really looking forward to tomorrow's race."

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KVRT Chevrolet): We struggled a bit in qualifying. This morning was awesome; the car was really hooked up. Then when we pretty much went out with the same settings and it was really loose. We struggled with over-steer and stuff like that the whole time in the second session. We adjusted to that for qualifying and now we have a little bit too much under-steer. So the changes we made, they worked, but I don't think we're quite there. I think we have to go in between and hopefully during the race it's going to come to us a little more.

TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "Milwaukee is always an exciting track, you really drive hard from wall to wall and are absolutely on the limit and that's what happened in qualifying today. We had a reasonably good car in practice and made good progress and was able to clock my personal fastest lap in qualifying in lap one but unfortunately I had a little push on the last corner, got up in the grey and I had to lift off the throttle to save it which cost us a little bit. So where we are is a little bit disappointing but I think we have a good car in traffic. Let's hope we have a strong race tomorrow."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 7 Dragon Racing Chevrolet): "I am just frustrated because we played it safe because we didn't have time to simulate and trim the car for qualifying. We went back to what we did in the first run today, which wasn't really set up for qualifying, but at least we knew where the balance was. We knew it was going to be super important to start from the front because it is so hard to pass here. It's going to be a long day tomorrow, the conditions are going to be different and with the cooler temperatures I hope it makes it more of a race."


SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):

8 a.m.
Garages open

11:15-1:20 p.m.
IZOD IndyCar Series Systems check

12:45 p.m.
Milwaukee 100 pre-race
1 p.m.
Milwaukee 100 (100 laps/100 miles), NBC Sports Network (Same-day delay, 2 p.m.)

3 p.m.
Milwaukee IndyFest pre-race

3:40 p.m.
Milwaukee IndyFest (250 laps/250 miles, NBC Sports Network (Live)

 
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