Newsstand » BEST QUALIFYING POSITION THIS SEASON
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We had some problems in practice with an oil line going bad and we only got about 20 laps in during practice so it was sort of an exercise in faith to go out there and keep the Sprott car flat. It was good. Oriol helped us out again because we relied on his data for qualifying like in Milwaukee. To go straight into qualifying without having done a flat out lap yet in practice was a little challenging but Newman/Haas gave me a great car. I was surprised by our performance to be honest; it was pretty much on edge but we put up a decent time. The team hasn’t had a lot of success at this track so we weren’t sure what to expect but after that, hopefully we’re a little better than we thought. This is a short track that races like a super speedway. The variable banking really helps us put on good races, you can run different lines here. It’s going to be a long, quick, busy Saturday night. I’m looking forward to it; its going to be fun.”
FAST FACTS: The event will be his FOURTH Indy car race on an oval (Indy , Texas, Milw). He competed here in the Indy Lights Series in 2009 where he started fifth and finished third in his rookie season in the series. In 2010 he started ninth and finished fifth. On his first qualifying lap, he was quick enough for pole but on the second lap the fuel pump broke coming out of the last corner and he slowed across the line and qualified 9th… Earned a season-high start of eighth place in his debut at Barber and a season-high finish of fourth in Long Beach to date. His best finish on an oval is sixth at Milwaukee…Toronto native Hinchcliffe, 24, finished second in the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season standings after three wins and four poles. In total he earned eight podium finishes in 13 races… Is ranked 16th with a total of 120 points and is 17 behind Rookie of the Year leader Hildebrand (137) after six of seven events so far this season.
NHR IN IOWA: This will be the FOURTH race here for the team. Hideki Mutoh competed for NHR at Iowa last year. He crashed during testing at Iowa Speedway on June 9 and returned for the race the following weekend where he started 24th and retired in 20th due to handling problems. Graham Rahal and Robert Doornbos competed for the team here in 2009. Rahal started ninth based on entrant points after qualifying was canceled due to water seepage and ran as high as sixth but contact with Patrick forced an unscheduled stop which put him two laps down and he ultimately finished 11th. Doornbos started 14th based on entrant points. Got sideways on the opening lap and was collected by Ryan Hunter-Reay. The team repaired his left front suspension and he returned to the track to move up three places and finished 15th. Rahal and Justin Wilson competed for the team here in 2008. Rahal started 16th and earned his highest oval finish to date of 10th while Wilson started 20th, ran as high as seventh and finished 12th. Starting positions were based on points due to rain.