DHL driver Ryan Hunter-Reay captured his fifth career pole position today, and third of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season, when he turned a lap time of 1:05.35 during the three-stage qualifying session at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. His time just missed the standing track record (held in a tie by Dario Franchitti and Gil de Ferran); Hunter-Reay‘s time was two-hundreths of a second shy.
On his strategy in qualifying
“It took a lot of guts to do that strategy there. We put ourselves at risk there in that middle session to go on used reds against a field this competitive, but the risk paid off. That was definitely the most nerve-wracking part of that session, going out on used reds.”
On if the car has been good all week or if they made a lot of changes from testing
“We’ve been working on it steadily, but the track conditions, you know it’s been raining and then the track comes back, and then it rains overnight, so it’s been a big engineering exercise trying to stay on top of the grip of the track, but as always these guys have done a great job. Hopefully we can put the weekend together and have a good one here. I love Mid-Ohio, and it’s great to have the No. 1 DHL Chevy on top.”
On wanting to finally get a win here
“Absolutely, that’s the one thing I’m missing. I’ve finished on podium here a bunch, started on the front row before but never had the chance to win this race, I’ve never won this race. We need to bring it home, for the championship too. It’s going to be a long, hard race tomorrow going up against the Ganassi, Penske boys and my teammates as well.”
Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet
United Way campaign chairman Marco Andretti qualified the RC Cola machine to a fourth-place grid position for tomorrow’sIndy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Today’s qualifying effort marked the first Firestone Fast Six appearance of the season for the third-generation racer.
“I think even though it’s my first (Firestone) Fast Six, I think we had more potential in the 25 car. A little disappointed because obviously we need to beat Ryan (Hunter-Reay) in the championship as well, and he earned another point, but we need to learn off it, figure out where he beat me and come back from it tomorrow. Tomorrow is what pays off big in points.”
E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet
E.J. Viso will roll off the grid of the 13-turn circuit from the 12th position during tomorrow’s 200-mile race. The 28-year-old Caracas, Venezuela native was unfortunately stuck in traffic during the top-12 qualifying run after coming away from this morning’s practice session in P3.
“I qualified 12th – not too happy with that qualifying position. I think we had a little bit more speed in the car. We couldn’t finish our qualifying lap as we had traffic twice from (Tristin) Vautier. Starting in this position is definitely going to be a tough job tomorrow in the race, but I have a lot of faith that in the direction we are working in; we are going to find a good set up and a good strategy to bring a good race result tomorrow.”
James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet
James Hinchcliffe showed speed behind the wheel of the GoDaddy Chevy and placed fourth in today’s morning practice session at the permanent road course in Lexington, Ohio. The Canadian fell just shy of advancing during today’s qualifying and will start from the 13th grid position for the Indy 200.
“It was only about a tenth we missed it by and we had that on two different laps; the car had that and I made little mistakes. It’s the nature of the business with this qualifying format – you only get a couple laps to have a crack at it. We went out early and did an extra lap. But, like I said, twice we had a car good enough to advance and just didn’t get it done. I feel bad for the guys – the GoDaddy Chevy is quicker than that. It’s a shame.”