For the 12th time this season, Roger Penske’s team showcased their prowess in qualifying; however it was Ryan Briscoe and not Will Power that secured the top spot this time around. With an average two-lap qualifying speed of 216.346mph, Briscoe’s speed advantage over fellow front-row starter, Dario Franchitti was ample indeed – the Scot averaged 215.593mph over his two fast laps.
Power did head the all-Penske second row; however Franchitti’s Ganassi team mate certainly made life a little difficult for himself – Scott Dixon will starting 15th following a difficult run.Marco Andretti was the top Andretti-Autosport runner with his 5th place spot; however it was a mixed bag for the four-car team – Ryan Hunter-Reay slots in at 9th position, while Danica Patrick and Tony Kanaan will start from 12th and 13th respectively.
Alongside Andretti in 6th position will be Graham Rahal in his Newman-Haas machine, while his team mate Hideki Mutoh runs from one row behind. The Newman-Haas pair will be sandwiching the Panther Racing driver of Dan Wheldon. The 2005 Champion has had a difficult season so far and there are questions as to whether he will still be at Panther next year, but a good result here may help to revive his flagging career. Temporary team mate, Ed Carpenter lines up 11th in his first run since the Indianapolis 500 in May.
Takuma Sato got the best out of the KV Racing equipment – the former F1 driver will start front the outside of row 5; however fellow KV racer’s, EJ Viso and Mario Moraes will be rolling from 16th and 21st respectively.
Former Indy Lights Champion Alex Lloyd is currently running as rookie of the year and he will be starting beside Kanaan in 14th place; however in a very rare occurrence, the much maligned Milka Duno qualified 26th spot.
It does not say something positive about the state of the current car and oval track that a driver that can be be 8 seconds per lap down at Watkins Glen is battling for places with other drivers at the rear of the field.
Of the remaining “regular” runners, Raphael Matos qualified in 18th ahead of the row 10 pair of Alex Tagliani (FAZZT Racing) and Bertrand Baguette (Conquest Racing). Justin Wilson (Dreyer & Reinbold) and Vitor Meira (AJ Foyt Racing) filled out row 12. Simona de Silvestro starts a disappointing 27th for HVM.
There were a number of part-timers back for this race too with Tomas Scheckter 17th for Conquest Racing (replacing the skill-less Francesco Dracone), while Ana Beatriz returns for Dreyer & Reinbold (22nd), Davey Hamilton sits at de Ferran / Dragon Racing (28th).
Both Sarah Fisher Racing machines entered the race with Fisher herself qualifying 25th and Jay Howard picking up last spot out of the 29 runners. For the few races Howard has run, he has generally been off the pace – one wonders how quickly this partnership will dissolve once the season is done.
The Chicagoland 300 starts at 1am (BST) on Sunday morning and will broadcast live from indycar.com and Sky Sports 4, with coverage beginning at 12.30am.
2010 IndyCar 300km Race of Chicagoland (Round 14, Qualifying)
Rank Car Driver Total Time Speed
1 6 Briscoe, Ryan 00:50.5857 216.346
2 10 Franchitti, Dario 00:50.7624 215.593
3 12 Power, Will 00:50.7792 215.521
4 3 Castroneves, Helio 00:50.7902 215.475
5 26 Andretti, Marco 00:50.8265 215.321
6 02 Rahal, Graham 00:50.8281 215.314
7 4 Wheldon, Dan 00:50.8789 215.099
8 06 Mutoh, Hideki 00:50.8892 215.055
9 37 Hunter-Reay, Ryan 00:50.9074 214.979
10 5 Sato, Takuma (R) 00:50.9154 214.945
11 20 Carpenter, Ed 00:50.9423 214.831
12 7 Patrick, Danica 00:50.9616 214.750
13 11 Kanaan, Tony 00:50.9896 214.632
14 19 Lloyd, Alex (R) 00:51.0285 214.468
15 9 Dixon, Scott 00:51.0761 214.269
16 8 Viso, EJ 00:51.0901 214.210
17 36 Scheckter, Tomas 00:51.1179 214.093
18 2 Matos, Raphael 00:51.1462 213.975
19 77 Tagliani, Alex 00:51.1617 213.910
20 34 Baguette, Bertrand (R) 00:51.2162 213.682
21 32 Moraes, Mario 00:51.2700 213.458
22 24 Beatriz, Ana (R) 00:51.2770 213.429
23 22 Wilson, Justin 00:51.2875 213.385
24 14 Meira, Vitor 00:51.3547 213.106
25 67 Fisher, Sarah 00:51.3573 213.095
26 18 Duno, Milka 00:51.4342 212.777
27 78 de Silvestro, Simona (R) 00:51.4625 212.660
28 21 Hamilton, Davey 00:51.5051 212.484
29 66 Howard, Jay (R) 00:51.5991 212.097
2010 IZOD IndyCar Series
1. Will Power Penske 514 points
2. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 455
3. Scott Dixon Ganassi 419
4. Ryan Briscoe Penske 385
5. Helio Castroneves Penske 370
6. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti-Autosport 360