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POWER SCORES VERIZON P1 AWARD AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

by TMS Media Relations | Jun 07, 2013

FORT WORTH, Texas (Friday, June 7, 2013) - Will Power earned his 31st career Indy car pole, tying Dario Franchitti and Sebastien Bourdais for seventh all-time, in qualifications for the June 8 Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, recorded a two-lap average speed of 219.182 mph on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval to claim the Verizon P1 Award. It was more than 3.5 mph faster than Alex Tagliani's 2012 pole-winning speed in the first year of the new chassis-engine package.

"The race car has been pretty good," said Power, who's among five drivers to start from the pole in eight races. "We were wide open, trimmed out enough, the gears were right. Last year we thought we should have been on the pole but we got it right this time. It's going to be an interesting race."

Power started fifth and finish eighth in the 228-lap race last June. There have been 18 race winners in the 24 IZOD IndyCar Series races at Texas Motor Speedway dating to 1997, and there hasn't been a back-to-back winner in the past seven years.

Marco Andretti, who's tied with Helio Castroneves atop the championship standings, earned his best start in nine races at Texas Motor Speedway with a two-lap average of 217.553 mph for second in the No. 25 RC Cola car for Andretti Autosport.

Reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay (217.524) and Franchitti (217.504) will share Row 2. E.J. Viso (217.244) and Castroneves (217.100) will share Row 3.

DAY 1 NOTEBOOK:

The IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in the Firestone 550, a 228-lap race at 8:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday.

***

            The following car will have 10-grid spot penalties for unapproved engine changes following the event at Belle Isle:

#78 De Silvestro (Rule 15.5.7.2)

15.5.7.2. (In-Race Failure): The Engine Manufacturer must inform its INDYCAR engine support engineer of the engine failure within five (5) hours of the end of the Race.

***

Pre-practice Quotes from IZOD IndyCar Series drivers:

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet): "Certainly we have new colors on the car. The AAA colors are on the car. Coming back tied for the points is good." (About his season): "Consistency seems to be paying off at this point. You want to win a race. It's 50 points to win race and today the separation in close to 50 points. It's good to come out with a win, but everyone is thinking the same way. Last year we had a very consistent season and won two races, but we know it's important to win races. We're in attack mode to get to the front. If it's meant to be, it will be. My mind is on the championship." (About success of Marco Andretti): "Marco started very young and still a young driver. The experience he accumulated over the years is paying off. That's why he's sharing the top spot. He understands now. If you don't have a car to win,  you need to be patient. He's a talent. The whole family it's hard for him to do something other than racing. He's learned from all the teammates in the past and it's paying off. Good for him." (About possibly winning a championship without a race win): "My goal is to win championship. If it takes more seconds than wins to get the championship, sign me up. I haven't had the feeling of the championship." (About success of Americans in IZOD IndyCar Series): "Right now the current champion is an American. Being foreign but being here for so long, it's great. IndyCar is an international series. It's great. It's like it's been in the past. We need the variety of drivers and countries. AA is doing a great job. When future drivers see American drivers doing well, they want to do the same thing."

***

Continuing a tradition at Texas Motor Speedway, Weinberger's Deli unveiled three sandwiches to honor the three generations of Andrettis in Indy car racing. The Green, White and Checkered Flag are all variations of the Italian sub sandwich.

***

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 RC Cola Chevrolet): "I can't be a bad thing for us to competing for the top right now. A lot of unfinished business for me and I want to start stringing wins together. We've had a decent start of the season, but we need to keep going.  "It's consistency that I worked on in the offseason. I want to be consistency better. I'm pleased with the start and I'm not where I want be right now." About having driving coach: "I'm not sure how it help me. It was working on weak points which were my street courses. I guess a new part of my vocabulary is the word finesse."

***

Simon Pagenaud, winner of the Race 2 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans on June 2, will drive a Honda Odyssey in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 30. But it's not quite your average family van.

Pagenaud will drive a turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 (500-plus horsepower) Odyssey that was developed for competition by associates at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama. It includes racing suspension and brakes, roll cage and limited-slip differential from the Acura TL product line.

***

Team owner/driver Ed Carpenter said he doesn't plan to immediately replace Derrick Walker as general manager. Following the Indianapolis 500 on May 26, Walker assumed the duties of president of competition and operations for INDYCAR.

"We have some good leadership with our team right now in Tim Broyles as our team manager, Bret Schmitt as our crew chief and Matt Barnes as our lead engineer," said Carpenter, the pole sitter at Indianapolis. "Plus we have a veteran team that proved they can win as we did last year at Fontana."

***

The next victory for Honda will be its 200th since entering Indy car competition in 1994. Honda Performance Development, the competition arm of Honda, is marking its 20th anniversary.... Alex Tagliani has earned the pole at Texas the past two years. Tomas Scheckter has the record with three (2002, 2003, 2005).

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES PRACTICE #1

At 12:30 p.m., the ambient temperature was 81 degrees with a relative humidity of 33 percent. Skies were fair. The track temperature was 113 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

12:30 p.m. - GREEN.

1:01 p.m. - YELLOW. Debris.

1:08 p.m. - GREEN.

            1:17 p.m. - YELLOW. Track inspection.

            1:26 p.m. - GREEN.

            1:34 p.m. - YELLOW. Track inspection.

            1:41 p.m. - GREEN.

            1:45 p.m. - CHECKERED.

FASTEST TIMES/SPEEDS OF SESSION:

Pos.      Car       Name                           Time                Speed

1.         25        Marco Andretti                        24.0330           217.950 mph

2.         11        Tony Kanaan               24.0742           217.577 mph

3.         12        Will Power                   24.1452           216.938 mph

4.         16        James Jakes                 24.1577           216.825 mph

5.         78        Simona De Silvestro    24.1652           216.758 mph

***

When in Texas ...

That was Simona De Silvestro's philosophy when she walked in to Billy Bob's Texas on June 6 to learn the rudiments of line dancing. Instructor Wendell Nelson whirled the KV Racing Technology driver - wearing cowboy boots - around the dance floor following the weekly 45-minute session.

Learning to line dance -- a choreographed dance with a repeated sequence of steps for a group -- has been of goal of the Swiss-born De Silvestro.

"There was a full group of people learning, so there were a lot of people and it was kind of cool because you could kind of fall in," she said. "I'm a terrible dancer, so I thought being in a line would be easier because you could look around and see what's going on. But most of them were pretty confused, too. But it was a lot of fun.

"I've been looking for it for years now, since I moved to the U.S. I was like, 'Man, I really want to do that once,' and I didn't know where to go, so to go there was really fun. It was a good experience."

De Silvestro was sent home with a "cheat sheet" with outlined steps for her to continue her education and possibly to teach some of her fellow IZOD IndyCar Series competitors following the Firestone 550 on June 8 at Texas Motor Speedway.

***

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 84 degrees with a relative humidity of 30 percent. Skies were sunny. The track temperature was 116 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

 

Time of Day

Car

Driver

Time

Speed

Rank

3:30 p.m.

5

E.J. Viso

48.2222

217.244

1

3:32 p.m.

20

Ed Carpenter

48.3716

216.552

2

#55 Vautier does not make an attempt after team elected to change engine after practice.

3:34 p.m.

19

Justin Wilson

50.4121

207.807

3

#14 Sato does not make an attempt after car missed its spot for pre-qualifying technical inspection.

3:36 p.m.

18

Pippa Mann

49.2329

212.785

3

3:38 p.m.

7

Sebastien Bourdais

48.7621

214.839

3

3:40 p.m.

27

James Hinchcliffe

48.4444

216.248

3

3:42 p.m.

25

Marco Andretti

48.1537

217.553

1

3:44 p.m.

9

Scott Dixon

48.3998

216.447

4

3:47 p.m.

11

Tony Kanaan

48.6184

215.474

6

3:49 p.m.

67

Josef Newgarden

48.3449

216.693

3

3:51 p.m.

83

Charlie Kimball

48.3724

216.570

4

3:54 p.m.

3

Helio Castroneves

48.2512

217.100

3

3:56 p.m.

12

Will Power

47.7960

219.182

1

3:58 p.m.

77

Simon Pagenaud

48.5613

215.727

10

4 p.m.

98

Alex Tagliani

48.6337

215.406

12

4:01 p.m.

78

Simona De Silvestro

48.4112

216.396

9

4:03 p.m.

6

Sebastian Saavedra

49.1330

213.217

15

4:05 p.m.

16

James Jakes

48.3908

216.487

8

4:07 p.m.

15

Graham Rahal

48.9790

213.888

16

4:09 p.m.

1

Ryan Hunter-Reay

48.1603

217.524

3

4:11 p.m.

10

Dario Franchitti

48.1646

217.502

4

4:13 p.m.

4

Oriol Servia

48.8197

214.586

18

 

QUALIFYING  FOR THE VERIZON P1 AWARD NOTES:

  • This is Will Power's second Verizon P1 Award of 2013. He also won the Verizon P1 Award at St. Petersburg It is 31st pole of his Indy car career, tying him with Dario Franchitti and Sebastien Bourdais for seventh on the all-time list.
  • Marco Andretti qualified second. It is his best qualifying effort of 2013 and his second front row start of 2013. He qualified third at Indianapolis.
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified third, his career best start at Texas Motor Speedway.  His previous best start at the track was fifth in 2011-Race 2. His best qualifying effort was 10th in 2008.
  • Dario Franchitti qualified fourth, his sixth top-five start in nine races at Texas Motor Speedway.
  • E.J. Viso qualified fifth, his fifth-straight top-five start

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES:

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "The race car has been pretty good.  We were wide open, trimmed out enough, the gears were right. Last year we thought we should have been on the pole but we got it right this time." (Do you have the car to win): "I do, actually. It's going to be an interesting race, I think the down force level I've got is about right for good racing, because I think some cars are a lot more than others, and if you happen to put new tires on the last restart and no one else does, you can go in the front. So it creates some interesting situations, and hopefully we're at the front of all that." (About the style of racing at TMS): "Before you were just a passenger, now you actually have to drive the thing, before you were just wide open and hope for the best and hopefully your car is fast, but now you have to drive it. So, it's how it should be. It should be about talent."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet): "The car was pretty good. I'm pleased with our front row (start).  Good job by the guys because our focus wasn't even on qualifying. I'm pleased just like I was at Indy because it was the same focus at Indy.   The first lap, I think we had an overboost, so we lost a mile-per-hour, which I was hoping it wasn't going to cost me more than it did. Will (Power) went for it, and he got benefited for it so good job to him."

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda): "I'm reasonably happy with qualifying today.  We spent the whole hour and a half of practice working on the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car for the race tomorrow night, when it really counts.  So, we kind of knew what we had but weren't exactly sure.  Overall, I'm pretty happy with that.   We can continue to work on the race car tonight and be in good shape for tomorrow."

LARRY FOYT (Managing Director, A.J. Foyt Racing): "We had a pretty big problem in the gearbox which took quite a bit of time to repair. We actually quit practice early to get back to the garage and start on it. We got it completed but I guess we were two minutes too late trying to get over to the tech line. The guys worked hard and did the best they could but INDYCAR said we couldn't qualify because we missed our tech time. It's a shame because qualifying hadn't started and I was hoping we could get out there. They tried to fix it as fast as possible but it with qualifying so close to practice, we weren't able to fix it in time."

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "We had a decent qualifying run, we got a good starting spot and we'll be ready for the race. It's honestly not as important here because it's such a long race, but it is important in that it can hopefully keep you out of some trouble in the beginning of the race. I think that was our smoothest qualifying session. We actually didn't have anything go wrong, we didn't have any inncidents, nothing funny happened like a lot of the time it does, so it was definitely one of our better ones and I think we'll be good to go for tomorrow night."

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "We have a faster car than we showed in qualifying, but we had a mis-shift which cost us a lot. It didn't go our way today but we have a long race tomorrow. The nature of the racing here is to have low downforce for good racing. It will be very important to have a stable car set-up so that we can be consistent in the race."

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "It's strange.  It seems that this track changes every year.  And since we have been with the new DW 12 chassis, the track is completely different.  I had a good car here last year but we had just one bad stint that set us back in the field.  The Fuzzy's Vodka Chevy was good at the start since we went from 18th to second.  We were just too loose (oversteer) today in qualifying.  So we have some work to do for the race.  We'll work on it in the night practice tonight.  Everyone seems to think this track produces pack racing.  But we haven't had a pack race here since 2004.  This is about the hardest oval we go to now.  There is not much grip.  This track is tougher than Fontana for grip and have less downforce than Fontana.  None of us want to see pack racing anymore, but I think have gone too far in the downforce level here to produce a good show for the fans.  I hope that isn't true for Saturday's Firestone 550."

TRISTAN VAUTIER (No. 55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): "We have an engine change to do and our qualifying would have been compromised because of that, so we just decided it was best not to go out. We're short on tires too so it just made more sense for us today. The car is very tricky to drive here, but it's the same way for everyone with the new tire. There's very little downforce which makes things very difficult and showcases driver talent. I know I have a lot of work to do because I'm not used to driving these high speeds on the edge."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 1 DHL Chevrolet): "At Texas (Motor Speedway) qualifying doesn't mean a whole lot, but it will help us out to start up front. The guys did a great job getting the car ready for qualifying after the cut tire -- we had to end the last session about half-way through. We need to get some major work done tonight, as a team we need to really develop the race car. With as little grip as we have around this place, I think it's going to be - it's anybody's race. It will be interesting to see what we have tonight (in practice), we're really going to have to work and make the Andretti Autosport cars better. But, overall, happy with the No. 1 DHL Chevy and looking to represent well for our hometown sponsors Dr Pepper Snapple and Sun Drop this weekend."

E.J. VISO (No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA Citgo Chevrolet): "Back in Texas! Qualifying fifth, I definitely think it's a good position to start this race. For tomorrow we are expecting a lot of action. With the new downforce levels regulated by IndyCar, it's definitely going to be a very interesting race. There's very little grip...as always, the weather being very hot here makes it tough for everyone. Anyways, I believe we have a good combination of factors in our team that are going to make us fast and stay in the leader pack."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet): "It's (this year) obviously not gone totally the way we wanted. Our good days have been good, our bad days have been bad. I think we kind of just need to find that sort of middle ground a little bit better on days when we don't have a car to win. A lot of it's been out of our control, some bad luck...we've been competitive, just haven't been able to get all the results we wanted with the GoDaddy car. Hopefully we can turn that around here in Texas."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "I don't think the race track owes me one after last year.  We had a good car and the balance was great.  We should have pitted and maybe taken tires but that's just the way it goes sometimes.  Texas has had some great races in the past and it's a great place to come and race at every year.  The new package and the new car we have has produced some great racing and it's a lot of fun.  You really have to hold on to these cars and stay on top of it."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Belkin Honda): "It's great to have the Belkin colors on the car this weekend, I think it looks really great.  The race is going to be a lot different than qualifying out there today.  I was pleasantly surprised that we got there in the top four as it was a great effort by the Target crew.  With the lack of downforce we run here it's going to be a lot different.  The race is down to be more aggressive and a lot quicker in my opinion.  People will be looking for grip out there anywhere they can find it.  We'll start from the front few rows tomorrow and see what we can do."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Midas/Big O Tires Honda): "The balance in the Midas / Big O Tires car was really good for our qualifying run but we were slow. The guys did a great job because I was pretty happy with the way the car felt in quals. I'm not sure where we find four or five miles an hour from but we'll go racing. Last year I wasn't sure I had the best car going into the race and I almost won it."

JAMES JAKES (No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Honda): "We have to be reasonably happy with our qualifying performance. We didn't go too aggressive on the setup and we managed to stay in the top-10.  It looks exciting. We'll do a lot of work tonight, or as much work as we can do in 30 minutes and get the Acorn Stairlifts car ready for the race. It's going to be a long race, 225 laps. We will just be patient, make sure we are there at the end and hopefully we will have a good position. Preserving the tires is going to be huge. In the practice session it wasn't great and we are going to scratch our heads a little bit to try and improve the car so it doesn't work the tires as hard and we can go longer on the stints and maintain the speed."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet): "Pretty good day, we feel like the AAA Chevrolet is going to be a good car this weekend. Since the race starts in the day we have to make sure we stay conservative and patient as the downforce changes through the night but our plan is to be right there at the end. We are definitely excited for tomorrow."

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."

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KVRT Chevrolet): "I think we're pretty happy with where we are. We fell off a little bit on the second lap; maybe I should have utilized the tools I have in the car a little bit more, but I think we should be fine. This is my best qualifying here, so I want to thank Chevy for that. We have a 10 grid penalty for tomorrow so we'll end up a little bit further back, but the important thing is that we have to focus on the race car; getting to where we're able to run on different lines out there; that's going to be really, really important. Hopefully we'll get everything where it needs to be and bring the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car home to a good finish."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Sunoco "Turbo" KVRT-SH Racing Chevrolet): "We missed a bit on the gears for qualifying and that hurt the speed on our run, putting us back in the 14th spot for tomorrow's start. The good thing is that we run warmup at night here at TMS, which gives us a chance to get the car closer to what we need for the actual race conditions. I think we'll be strong for the race tomorrow."

***

IZOD IndyCar Series officials have announced there will be three cars that will have 10-grid spot penalties for unapproved engine changes between the Belle Isle race and today:

 

#78 De Silvestro (Rule 15.5.7.2)

15.5.7.2. (In-Race Failure): The Engine Manufacturer must inform its INDYCAR engine support engineer of the engine failure within five (5) hours of the end of the Race. Note: Took place at Belle Isle.

 

#55 Vautier (Rule 15.5.1.)

15.5.1. (Minimum mileage): Engine was changed before minimum mileage threshold ("Change-Out Mileage") of 2,000 miles.

 

#77 Pagenaud (Rule 15.5.1.)

15.5.1. (Minimum mileage): Engine was changed before minimum mileage threshold ("Change-Out Mileage") of 2,000 miles.

***

IZOD INDYCAR SERIES FINAL PRACTICE

            At 6:45 p.m., the ambient temperature was 82 degrees with a relative humidity of 34 percent. Skies were sunny. The track temperature was 101, according to Firestone engineers.

6:45 p.m. - GREEN.

7:15 p.m. - CHECKERED.

 

FASTEST TIMES/SPEEDS OF SESSION:

Pos.

Car

Name

Time

Speed

1.

11

Tony Kanaan

23.9670

218.551 mph

2.

27

James Hinchcliffe

24.0745

217.575 mph

 

3.

12

Will Power

24.1234

217.134 mph

 

4.

9

Scott Dixon

24.1705

216.710 mph

 

5.

16

James Jakes

24.1859

216.572 mph

 

 

SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):

Noon

Garages open

2:35-2:40 p.m.

Systems check

7 p.m.

Firestone 550 pre-race

7:45 p.m.

Firestone 550 (228 laps/324 miles), ABC (Live).

 

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