Indy – HUNTER-REAY SECURES TOP FIVE QUALIFYING SPOT SATURDAY AT MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE FOR SUNDAY’S HONDA INDY 200

August 7, 2011

Indy

Ryan Hunter-Reay battled for the coveted pole position Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, as he led the Andretti Autosport team in qualifications for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200, the 11th round of the 17-race IZOD IndyCar Series.

Hunter-Reay, driving the No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Honda/Dallara/Firestone car, looked primed for a pole run after posting the fastest time in his first round of time trials and third quickest clocking in the second round. In the ten-minute Firestone Fast Six finale, the Florida driver quickly jumped to the top of the speed charts as threatening thunderstorms surrounded the 2.25-mile, 13-turn road circuit. Ryan continued his assault for the pole with the fastest time after the first three minutes and battled eventual pole winner Scott Dixon for the next six minutes. Hunter-Reay finished fifth at the checkered flag with a time of one minute, 8.579 seconds.

Mike Conway was in the top-three for much of the first qualifying round but dropped out the transfer positions late in the session. The No. 27 Team @FollowAndretti Honda/Dallara/Firestone driver will start 17th Sunday when the green flag drops at 2:45 p.m. EDT.

Marco Andretti drove the No. 26 Team Venom Energy Drink Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry to 19th in qualifying Saturday, while Danica Patrick taking 23rd in the No. 7 Team GoDaddy Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine.

MARCO ANDRETTI, #26 TEAM VENOM ENERGY DRINK CAR

Starts tomorrow’s race in P19
“We tried to take the Venom car closer to Ryan’s (Hunter-Reay) setup but it just didn’t work for us today. We were in and out of the top six in our group but didn’t have what we needed in the end. Obviously 19th is not where we want to be starting tomorrow but we’ll do what we can to make our way through the field.”

MIKE CONWAY, #27 TEAM @FOLLOWANDRETTI CAR

Qualified for the race in P17
“It was a difficult day for us today. We thought we had improved the car from the morning practice session. But we couldn’t get the pace we needed to transfer out of the first round of qualifying. I was able to jump up the charts to third several times in that round. But we had a problem in the last couple of laps. We were just a tenth out of transferring to the second round. You just can’t afford to miss a beat with the competition level in the IZOD IndyCar Series. We’ll work on making a good race car for Sunday’s event. We did that at Edmonton in the last race.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, #28 TEAM DHL/CIRCLE K/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA CAR

Will start the race in fifth position
“I disappointed with the fifth place result. We really got aggressive with the front end of the car today. I just couldn’t keep the rear end under me in the corners. I almost lost a couple of times, but, hey, it’s qualifying and we can still get to the front in the race. We can move our way up in the race. We will improve the car in the morning practice. I thought I could put together a good lap and we could have been second or third on the grid. I couldn’t attack through the corners as I would have liked. I love driving here. This place is a lot of fun. We got our money’s worth today with three rounds of qualifying. I believe we’ll have a car to put the Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop machine in the winner’s circle.”

DANICA PATRICK, #7 TEAM GoDaddy.com CAR

Starts the race in P23
“Like Edmonton, we didn’t have the strongest qualifying session. But we had a strong finish so I have confidence we can do the same here at Mid-Ohio with the GoDaddy.com car.”

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