95th Indianapolis 500 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NOTES AND QUOTES - Saturday, May 21, 2011
TELEMUNDO DRIVER SERVIA TO START ON THE FRONT ROW FOR THE INDY 500 IN THIRD PLACE; SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE TO START 13TH IN FIRST INDY 500
POLE: Alex Tagliani (Seg 2) 4-lap avg. speed of 227.472 mph (L1: 227.733, L2: 227.488, L3: 227.430, L4: 227.238)
3rd: Oriol Servia (Seg 2) 4-lap avg. speed of 227.168 mph (L1: 227.328, L2: 227.168, L3: 227.118, L4: 227.059)
13th: J. Hinchcliffe (Seg 1) 4-lap avg. speed of 225.572 mph (L1: 225.721, L2: 225.558, L3: 225.565, L4: 225.445)
Oriol Servia, No. 2 Telemundo Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "I couldn't believe we were in the top-nine and then we decided to go all out at it and the Telemundo car was really fast. I'm just very proud of the whole crew. The work they put in over the winter, even with the uncertainty, when we didn't know 100 percent what the program was going to be. To be on the front row is just unbelievable." (What went through your head as everyone took their shot at you?): "I saw that Power was not able to go faster than us and I was like, 'wait a second, we are faster than the three Penskes at the Indy 500. They are usually quite good at that game.' I started to feel confident and I saw Dario (Franchitti) was slower and then ran out of fuel, and I thought, 'wow, we may have a shot.' Then Scott (Dixon) went faster and Tag, too. It is really nice to be on the front row."
FAST FACTS: Will be his third Indy 500 and first with NHR. Ran as high as eighth and finished 11th in 2008 with KV Racing after he qualified 25th. Was running 10th in the 2009 race with Rahal Letterman Racing when a fuel pressure problem forced him to retire after 98/200 laps. Qualified 25th and retired in 26th. First came to NHR as the replacement driver for Junqueira who suffered a season-ending injury in the 2005 Indy 500...Previous race on an oval was 2009 Motegi event for NHR where he finished fourth...Servia tested with the team in Sebring for two days in December 2010. Prior to that his previous time behind the wheel of an Indy car was also with NHR at the 2009 race in Japan where he finished fourth. He also tested in the open test at Barber Motorsports Park in March where he was fifth fastest...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 110 and is one of only three drivers to finish in the top-10 in each race so far (also Will Power and Dario Franchitti).
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "I'm fairly comfortable with it. I think the conditions today were pretty tough, and we were a little slower than we expected to run. Given how windy it was, we're pretty pleased. Everybody is struggling a little bit with the wind. The cars get pretty dicey in the first turn, which is already the most difficult corner. But I feel pretty good. The team did a super job getting everything prepared, and I feel really comfortable in the car. We just need to make sure we make it through 200 laps now that we've gone through the first four." (On being a rookie and being a part of Pole Day): "Right before I went out, my chief mechanic looked at me and said, 'No matter what happens, you're about to try and qualify for the Indy 500.' That sort of brought it all home. It's true. No matter what happens, I'm going to go out there and put my right foot down and have a good time. I really enjoyed it."
FAST FACTS: The Indy 500 will mark his first time to compete 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 19th with a total of 66 points and is only three behind Rookie of the Year leader Hildebrand (69) after three of four events so far this season.
1 POLE (1987) & TWO SECONDS AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (IMS) FOR NHR: The 2011 entry will mark the 19th year for the team in the event and the sixth since 1995. Prior to 2011, the team prepared a total of 28 entries for drivers such as Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Paul Tracy, Bruno Junqueira, Sebastien Bourdais, Justin Wilson, Graham Rahal, Robert Doornbos and Hideki Mutoh. Oriol Servia and James Hinchcliffe compete for the team in 2011 and will bring the total to 30. NHR's highest finish in the Indy 500 is second place with Mario Andretti in 1985 and Michael Andretti in 1991 although team drivers have led many laps here. Mario Andretti also brought the team its highest start in the event when he won the pole position in 1987. NHR's 2004 entry of Junqueira marked the first time for the team to compete here since 1995 and they returned in 2005 with Junqueira and IMS rookie Bourdais. In 2008 they ran Wilson and Rahal here during a transition season in the series and ran Rahal and Robert Doornbos in 2009. They have earned Rookie of the Year once, with Mansell in 1993 when he finished third.
5 WINS & 6 POLES IN 500-MILE RACES: The team has won five 500-mile races. The most recent 500-mile wins came in 2000 (Christian Fittipaldi, $1 million purse) and 2001 (Cristiano da Matta, $1 million purse) at California Speedway. The team also won the 500-mile events at Michigan Internation