Firestone Twin 275s – Texas Motor Speedway
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, June 10, 2011
TELEMUNDO DRIVER SERVIA TO START RACE 1 OF FIRESTONE TWIN 275s 14TH; SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFE TO START 15TH
POLE: Alex Tagliani 2-lap avg. speed of 215.186 mph (L1: 215.086, L2: 215.286)
14th: Oriol Servia 2-lap avg. speed of 213.023 mph (L1: 212.858, L2: 213.189)
15th: James Hinchcliffe 2-lap avg. speed of 212.970 mph (L1: 213.210, L2: 212.730)
Oriol Servia, No. 2 Telemundo Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "We came here thinking we might be reasonably fast since we were at Indy but then were slower in practice. Then we qualified faster than we thought we were going to be so I'm very happy. The Telemundo car was better in qualifying than in practice which is the same in Indy and we ran well in both qualifying and the race so let's push for that here too. It doesn't really matter too much where you start here because you can win the race from last place but it's better to be up front to avoid some of the things that can happen in the back."
FAST FACTS: Will be his second race at TMS and first with NHR. He qualified 3rd for the 2001 CART race here but the race was cancelled due to safety concerns. Started 16th in 2008 and retired in 26th due to contact with KV Racing...Servia, a native of Catalonia, Spain, has made 18 starts for NHR which include his first Indy car win (Montreal 2005) and pole (Surfers Paradise, Australia 2005) as well as a total of seven top-three, 12 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. In 2005, Servia replaced NHR driver Bruno Junqueira, who suffered a season-ending injury at the Indy 500 on May 29, and then went on to finish second to teammate Sebastien Bourdais in the point standings after 11/13 events with the team. Servia returned to NHR in 2009 for four races with a season-best finish of fourth at Twin Ring Motegi... Is THIRD in series point standings with 150 and is the ONLY driver to finish in the top-10 in each race so far.
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "Qualifying went better than expected for the Sprott team. We were a little concerned with our pace in practice and we're not quite sure where the pace came from either. To be honest, we weren't quite geared for the speed we went so there is probably a little bit more in it. At the end of the day, for the Newman/Haas guys to turn the car around after practice and give us a good qualifying car that set a solid qualifying time is great, especially since this place is the least critical for qualifying. The big thing now is to take this next practice and try to get a good race car because we have a very unique event coming up tomorrow and you want to be good over two races."
FAST FACTS: It will be his first race at TMS and his second time he will race on an oval in an Indy car ...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...He tested with NHR for two days at Sebring in December and another two days in January before testing at Barber Motorsports Park March 14-15 where he set the seventh fastest time overall at the test as well as temporarily held the fastest time on Tuesday...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 18th with a total of 80 points and is 33 behind Rookie of the Year leader Hildebrand (113) after five of six events so far this season.
NHR AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY: Will be the FOURTH race here for the team. Hideki Mutoh started seventh, led 1 lap, set the third fastest race lap and finished 12th here last year for NHR. Graham Rahal and Robert Doornbos competed for the team here in 2009. Graham Rahal qualified 12th here in 2009 and retired in 22nd after contact early in the race. Robert Doornbos qualified ninth in 2009 and finished 11th. Rahal and Justin Wilson competed for the team here in 2008. Rahal started 18th and finished 11th. Wilson qualified 23rd, ran as high as 13th but finished 27th after he brushed the T2 wall and retired with suspension failure after 39/228 laps.
TUNE IN: The Firestone Twin 275s will be televised live on Versus at 8:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday night. Live timing & scoring and streaming video can be seen free of charge on www.indycar.com