Race Winners Week Ending 5/19/13

NASCAR
Sprint All Star- Jimmie Johnson
Camping World Truck Series- North Carolina Education Lottery- Kyle Busch

Top Fuel — Shawn Langdon
Funny Car — Johnny Gray
Pro Stock — Jeg Coughlin
Top Alcohol Dragster — Alan Bradshaw
Top Alcohol Funny Car — Jirka Kaplan
Super Stock — Tim Nicholson,
Stock Eliminator — Austin Williams
Super Comp — Tommy Phillips
Super Gas — Steve Williams
Super Street — John Dasher
Top Dragster — Larry Piper

Honda Racing–Honda’s Newgarden Leads Final Indy 500 Qualifiers

Second-year IZOD IndyCar Series driver Josef Newgarden led the field Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the final day of qualifying for next weekend’s Indianapolis 500.  Newgarden’s four-lap average of 225.731 mph, posted shortly after the historic 2.5-mile oval opened for qualifying at 12 p.m. EDT, put his Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda at the top of the final nine qualifiers who successfully joined the 33-car starting field today.

Graham Rahal also posted a four-lap qualifying average of just over 225 mph for the second-fastest run of the day and will start from 26th, while reigning Indy Lights champion Tristan Vautier qualified for his first Indianapolis 500 with a run of 224.873 mph and will start from the inside of the 10th row, 28th.  

Other Honda-powered qualifiers in final “Bump Day” qualifying included Ana Beatriz, 29th, and her Dale Coyne Racing teammate, Pippa Mann on the outside of the 10th row, in 30th. Another Indy 500 rookie, Conor Daly, bounced back from a heavy crash on Thursday to qualify 31st for A.J. Foyt Racing; while Katherine Legge ran only her first practice laps for this year’s race this morning, but still claimed the 33rdand final starting spot in a Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda.

IZOD IndyCar Series activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway resume on Friday with the traditional final practice session, known as “Carb Day”.  The 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 starts at 11 a.m. EDT Sunday, May 26, with live television coverage on ABC. 

Josef Newgarden (#21 Century 21 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda) qualified 25th, fastest in the final day of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500:  “We’re in the show, so it’s good!  We had a little bit of a bobble yesterday [in first-day qualifying] and we weren’t able to show our representative speed.  But we did a little bit better today and I think we have even more to come for the race.  We’ve got a lot of confidence going into our second ‘500’”.

Roger Griffiths (Technical Director, Honda Performance Development): “Congratulations to the second-day qualifiers, and to the Sam Schmidt team for getting its third car prepared and in the show for Katherine [Legge].  A number of Honda-powered cars put in considerable mileage today, which demonstrated good reliability.  The hard work for HPD will continue throughout this week, as we prepare to give our teams the best possible shot at winning next Sunday’s race.”

Honda Racing–Tagliani Leads Honda Indy Qualifying

Veteran Canadian Indy car driver Alex Tagliani led the Honda effort in “Pole Day” qualifying Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and will start 11th in next weekend’s 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.  Tagliani’s four-lap average of 227.386 mph was almost a full mile per hour faster than the 2012 pole speed of 226.484 mph, set by Ryan Briscoe, yet still missed the making the final “Top Nine Shootout” by just one-tenth of a mile per hour.

Nine Honda-powered drivers made successful qualifying runs today around the historic 2.5-mile oval, with Justin Wilson qualifying 14th to lead the three-car Dale Coyne Racing effort.  Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti will start 16th and 17th, respectively.  In 2012, Franchitti went on to win his third “500” after starting 16th.

IZOD IndyCar Series points leader Takuma Sato will start 18th for Honda and A.J. Foyt Racing, followed by Charlie Kimball in the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, 19th.  After being knocked out of the field – the first 24 positions of the 33-driver grid were set in today’s qualifying runs – James Jakes dramatically “bumped” his way back into the field in the final minutes of qualifying, and will start 20th in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda.

Simon Pagenaud, making his second “500” start for Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports, qualified 21st, while 2012 pole qualifier Briscoe rounded out the first-day qualifiers for Honda, and will start 23rd in his NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway continues tomorrow with a morning practice session, followed by final “Bump Day” qualifying to set the final nine starting positions for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.  Television coverage, beginning at 11 a.m. EDT, will be provided by the NBC Sports Network. 

Roger Griffiths (Technical Director, Honda Performance Development): “Obviously, we came here shooting for the pole, but came up short.  We’re all racers at Honda, and today’s results are very disappointing.  But we’ve got a pretty good record of winning here [at Indianapolis, with nine consecutive race victories], and hopefully we’ll be drinking milk again next weekend.   We have to knuckle down and keep fighting.  That’s what we did in 2012, and that’s what we plan to do again this year.”

Alex Tagliani (#98 Barracuda Racing/BHA Honda) qualified 11th for the second consecutive year at the Indianapolis 500:  “I’m very pleased with the team. The boys had somewhat of a rough week, but worked really hard to make sure that we had a strong car.I’m super confident with the car that we have for the race. I’m also very pleased with how Honda improved during the week of practice. They responded really well to what I was asking from the engine for my qualifying run. Honda worked with us to make sure we had a fair chance to fight the competition, and I’m pleased with the way they responded.”

Mopar Racing–Two Title Wins for Mopar with Coughlin and Gray at NHRA Kansas Nationals

Two Title Wins for Mopar with Coughlin and Gray at NHRA Kansas Nationals
 
·         Coughlin and Gray earn title wins for Mopar and special-edition silver Wally trophies in honor of the 25th anniversary of NHRA Kansas Nationals
·         Coughlin reaches milestone 500th career Pro Stock round win on his way to his first win of the season and 53rd of his career
·         After a win at the previous event in Atlanta, Gray wins third title of the season, and first consecutive victories of his career to take Funny Car championship lead
·         Three Mopars reach semifinals in both Pro Stock and Funny Car classes

 

Topeka, Kansas (Sunday, May 19, 2013) – For a second time this season, two Dodge entries doubled up to take title wins in both the Pro Stock and Funny Car classes at the NHRA Kansas Nationals with drivers Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Johnny Gray taking home special-edition silver Wally trophies in honor of the event’s 25th anniversary. Each driver’s trip to the winner’s circle was notable for number of reasons.

 

Before the final elimination round came down to a Mopar versus Mopar face-off between Coughlin and his teammate Allen Johnson, his second round victory gave him a milestone 500 career round wins. He becomes the fifth Pro Stock driver to reach that plateau along with Greg Anderson, Bob Glidden, Kurt Johnson, and Warren Johnson.

 

Coughlin advanced to his 88th career final round appearance to earn a 53rd career win with a 6.680-second pass at 206.20 mph over Johnson’s elapsed time of 6.698 sec (206.57 mph) after both drivers recorded .013 second reaction times. It was the third time this season that Coughlin was involved in an all-Mopar final elimination. Previously, the driver of the Jegs.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger was defeated by Vincent Nobile for the win in the season opening event at Pomona, then finished runner-up to Johnson at the Gatornationals.

 

“Any day you are hoisting a Wally at the end of the day is a good thing and it’s what you work for and that final round ranks up there with some of the best races I’ve ever won,” said Coughlin who maintains his second place spot in the points battle but is closing the gap on the leader Mike Edwards. “Today was extra-special for several reasons. We hadn’t won in a couple of years. To finally get a Wally on Sunday is exactly what the doctor ordered. We have been working hard and trying to work smart, and today was our day and it felt fantastic.”

 

“All of us at Mopar are excited to see Jeg (Coughlin Jr.) back in the winner’s circle after a strong start to the season and be part of his 500th round win milestone,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “We began a great partnership with Jeg last year and it’s great to see him back on top with this win at the Kansas Nationals. We look forward to seeing him contending for many more wins this year with the powerful Mopar HEMI engine under the hood of his Dodge. “

 

“We do take trips down memory lane occasionally and this is one of those times,” added Coughlin in speaking about the 500 round wins that have helped him earn 52 class wins and four championships. “We’ve been fortunate to win a lot of great races and win a lot of great championships. It’s a testament to everyone who has been behind us all those years. It’s been a product of 15 years of dedication from a lot of great teams I have worked with. It’s a testament to them from our family teams in the beginning to the Cagnazzi group, Schumacher and now with Allen Johnson.”

 

The defending winner at Heartland Park, Johnson won his match ups against Deric Kramer, Greg Anderson, and Roger Brogdon in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge to make his 39th final round appearance and finish runner-up to Coughlin. Johnson remains third in the Pro Stock standings.

 

Nobile beat fellow HEMI-powered Dodge of V. Gaines before upsetting no.1 qualifier and points leader Edwards in round two. That put Nobile among the three Mopars to make the semifinals where he was defeated by Coughlin, but earned enough points to move up a spot into sixth place in the championship.

 

While three Mopars made the semifinals in Pro Stock, the same transpired in Funny Car with Dodge Charger R/T contingent of Johnny Gray, Jack Beckman and Ron Capps all advancing. Matt Hagan’s ‘Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar’ wasn’t quite as lucky falling in the first round to Bob Tasca.

 

In the semifinals, Beckman, who was the defending event winner, fell to Gray who would meet up for a final round elimination against Robert Hight after he defeated Capps. Gray earned his first victory at the Heartland Park Topeka track in the Pitch Energy Dodge Charger with a final run of 4.067 seconds (314.90 mph) after Hight lost traction early in the run.

 

Gray is having a banner year for Mopar and his Don Schumacher Racing team.  With a victory at the previous event in Atlanta, not only does he have wins in back-to-back races for the first time in his career, bringing his career total to six, but he now also has sole possession of the points lead in the Funny Car championship for another career first. Highlights for Gray this season also include wins in all three of his final round appearances with his Dodge Charger R/T, a no.1 qualifier position at Phoenix and a semifinal appearance in the season opener at Pomona.

 

“My crew chief Rob (Wendland) gave me a great race car that ran real hard all day,” said Gray. “Sometimes you can win races on an intimidation factor and Rob had her tuned up to where she was a little intimidating today. My guys are giving me a car I can’t screw up in right now.”

 

“It was great to see Don Schumacher Racing’s Johnny Gray add a third win today to the strong start to the year he’s had in the Dodge Charger R/T,” Gorlier said. “Earning wins in both Pro Stock and Funny Car classes for the second time this year after first doing it at the Gatornationals, is a great way to reinforce all the hard work that Mopar HEMI-powered teams and drivers are putting in early in the season to defend both World titles.”

 

Mopar teams and drivers will return to competition in two weeks for the 44th annual Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park near Englishtown, New Jersey, for the ninth event on the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Summit Racing–Anderson Prepared to Zero in on Trouble Spot after NHRA Kansas Nationals

Anderson Prepared to Zero in on Trouble Spot after NHRA Kansas Nationals
 
TOPEKA, Kan. (May 19, 2013) – The 25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka saw some of the smoothest runs that the Summit Racing Pro Stock duo of Greg Anderson and Jason Line have seen all year, but the Minnesota-bred, Mooresville, N.C.-transplanted pair didn’t achieve the results that they were aiming for at the eighth of 24 events on NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour.
 
Anderson, the No. 6 qualifier, halted veteran racer Larry Morgan in the first round, 6.707 to 6.723, and then clocked a very efficient .017-second reaction time before excessive clutch slippage resulted in a 6.723 that simply couldn’t better Allen Johnson’s 6.674 in round two.
 
“This weekend, the Summit Racing Camaros weren’t running as fast as we believe they truly can,” said Anderson. “And really, we cannot expect to win races at this pace. We’ve got to pick it up. The cars are not responding in a favorable direction to the changes that we’re making, and so we’re glad we have a week off before it’s time to go racing again. That will give us a chance to really figure it out so that we can go to Englishtown with a better product and really show our potential.”
 
After struggling with tire spin in recent events, Anderson was pleased that he and Line’s Summit Racing Camaros were able to make a series of clean journeys down the quarter-mile dragstrip over the course of the weekend.
 
“The cars are going down the track every time, the cars are very safe, and they feel very good – they’re just not running fast yet,” said Anderson. “We’ve definitely gotten better and sorted out the problems we were having earlier, but you have to have both a repeatable car and run fast. You can’t have one without the other and expect to win. We know it’s there, we just have to zero in on what, exactly, we’re doing wrong.”
 
Anderson is holding in the No. 8 spot in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock standings, and he has much on the agenda as he is chasing his first win of the season. The Summit Racing team so far has one win on their scorecard this year; Line was victorious in Houston.
 
“This one was definitely a bust for us, we didn’t perform as well as we should have, but that has the Summit Racing guys fired up to get home and get back to work,” said Anderson. “We’ve been faced with challenges before, and we have a very capable team. It’s time we show what we’re capable of.”

Chevy Racing–Indianapolis 500 Bump Day

 
 
Seventeen Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Drivers Set to Start 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500
 
INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2013) – Bump Day, the traditional name for the second day of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, came to an end with the 33-car field set for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26, 2013.
 
With today’s addition of Sebastian Saavedra, No. 6 TrueCar Dragon Racing Chevrolet, and 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier, No. 91 Lazier Partners Inc. Chevrolet, who both posted successful qualifying attempts, a total of 17 Chevrolet IndyCar V6 powered cars are set to start the 200-lap/500-mile race on the famed 2.5-mile oval.
 
Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, will start of the pole with fellow Chevrolet V6 drivers Carlos Muñoz, No. 26 Unistraw Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, and Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet completing the front row.
 
After the remainder of the cars had taken their qualifying laps today, there was an ample supply of track time available for open practice that gave Team Chevy cars and drivers a valuable opportunity to continue preparations for the historic race.
 
IZOD IndyCar Series activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway resume on Friday with the traditional final practice session, known as “Carb Day”. The 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 starts at 11 a.m.EDT Sunday, May 26, with live television coverage on ABC.In addition, the famed race will be broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, including on Sirius and XM Channels 211 and

Chevy Racing–Sprint All Star Race Post Race

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY POST RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
MAY 18, 2013
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S PATRIOTIC CHEVROLET SS – WINNER
THEY SAY GREAT ATHLETES RISE TO THE OCCASION TO WIN THE BIG EVENTS. SO HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO DO WHAT NO OTHER DRIVERS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO IN HISTORY?
“That’s crazy. Gosh, to beat Jeff (Gordon) and (Dale) Earnhardt (Sr.), two guys that I’ve looked up to my whole life and two massive icons of our sport, this means the world to me. I really didn’t think we had a shot at winning tonight, starting 20th. But we had a great race car and worked our way through there and got the job done. Over time, honestly, it’s just dedication and drive from every member of Hendrick Motorsports, and every member on this No. 48 team. We’re very proud of what we’ve done and what we’ve accomplished, but we know we’ve got to keep pushing harder and keep pushing one another and we did it again here tonight. I don’t know how we keep doing it. I’m very proud of this race team.”
 
RICK HENDRICK LEANED INTO THE CAR TO SAY SOMETHING TO YOU. WHAT DID HE SAY TO YOU? DID YOU MAKE THE MOTION TO GET HIM ON THE CAR AGAIN, AND DID HE SAY, ‘NO WAY’?
“I didn’t really hear him because the engine was running. But when I was talking to DW (Darrell Waltrip) on my way in, we talked about Rick not being on the door. And so I thought this was the perfect opportunity for him to ride a very short distance, a safe distance, but he turned it down. It would have been fun to do it. But, it is just a huge night for my entire fan base. I want to thank Sprint for their great support of our entire industry and our sport and this event tonight. I want to thank our great sponsor, Lowe’s, and Kolbalt Tools, Chevrolet and my family.” 
 
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED FOURTH
YOU GUYS HAD LANE CHOICE ON THE FRONT ROW, WHAT HAPPENED THE FINAL TEN LAPS?
 “Well, I would say my pit crew did a great job of getting us out first.  I was a little tight the run before and we didn’t have time to fix it because we wanted to get out first and knew if we could get clean air we thought we would be alright with our Farmers Chevy.  Jimmie just stayed right there and I couldn’t get rid of him and then he beat me off the corner and into three and kind of on exit and it was over after that.  I was tight and fell back to fourth but the pit crew did great, it was a great run for us, we tried hard and just a little too much bouncing off cars to have a car capable of running with him at the end.”
 
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW RACING/SEALY CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED FIFTH
I KNOW YOU DIDN’T GET THE WIN, BUT WHAT DO THEY SAY THEY KNEW YOU WERE HERE:
“Yeah, that is definitely the case.  Winning a couple of segments in the All-Star Race is nothing to be disappointed about.  You always want more and when you lose to a guy like Jimmie Johnson, a five-time champion, Chad Knaus (Jimmie Johnson, crew chief) those guys they were just perfect again.  We were just one click slow on pit stop and one click off on the final adjustment.  We came out fifth and got stuck in a little bit of that traffic.  I thought we could race our way into that.  We weren’t perfect tonight, but overall happy Armed Forces day.  With them on board it always gives us inspiration to run strong and just if you see a military member thank them for their service.”
 
YOU GUYS HAD A FANTASTIC CAR BUT JUST GOT BEAT ON PIT ROAD ON THAT FINAL STOP:
 “You know, to win some segments and to be in position with the All-Star race and the way it is, it shows the full strength of this team.  Even though we were running 20 laps at a time, it still makes you proud to race for these guys.  They put me in position with the best average finish through the first four segments but we were just a shade slow on pit road and maybe a shade off on that last adjustment because I couldn’t race back through traffic.  Even if we came out first, it would have been tough to hold those guys off.”
 
I HEARD YOU SAY THAT THE CAR WAS STARTING TO PLOW:
 “Yeah, a little bit tight and therefore, you are just trying to translate to them what that last change did and you just roll with it because it’s a million bucks going out the window but we are building our notebook up for Charlotte and the 600 next week.” 
 
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FOUNDATION CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED EIGHTH
YOU WON THE SHOWDOWN AND HAD A SOLID FINISH IN THE ALL-STAR RACE TELL US ABOUT YOUR NIGHT:
“Really happy with our car.  I think if we ever could have gotten to the front, probably like most people, our car was extremely fast.  It’s just really tough in traffic, but overall we had a good car.”
 
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CARES CHEVROLET SS – FINISHED 20TH
ON HER RACE:
“First and very foremost, thank you to all the fans who voted for me or maybe voted so many times for me.  I’m very fortunate to have the fan base that I do, and I never forget that. It really just makes me feel bad to win the Sprint Fan Vote and run in the back of the race. We just couldn’t get the GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet right. We were just too tight. The guys did a great job on pit road. That goes without saying. It was just a tough night, but hopefully we are able to figure out what was wrong and we can come back here next weekend and have a better run.”

Chevy Racing–Indy Pole

Ed Carpenter with Chevrolet V6 Power Wins the Pole for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500
 
INDIANAPOLIS (May 18, 2013) – Ed Carpenter fulfilled a life-long dream today by winning the pole for the Indianapolis 500.  In his own Ed Carpenter Racing No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet V6, Carpenter put up a blistering four-lap average speed of 228.762 mph to earn the right to lead the 33-car field to the green flag of the 97th running of the Great American Race.
 
With deep roots in Indiana making him a local hero at famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Carpenter became the first owner/driver to win the pole since 1975.
 
“This is a good start,” said Carpenter. “I want to make sure we keep the team focused.  I hope this is part one of a really magical month, and we’re here for race day.  This is awesome and it’s bigger than our wins and it’s huge for the team. It’s definitely a landmark day, but I don’t want to get overly focused on this because we have a lot of work to do yet.”
 
Andretti Autosport teammates, rookie Carlos Muñoz, No. 26 Unistraw Chevrolet, and Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet qualified second and third respectively to give Chevrolet the front row for the 200-lap/500-mile race on May 26, 2013.
 
“Congratulations to Ed Carpenter and the entire team at Ed Carpenter Racing for putting the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet on the pole for the 97th running of the Indy 500,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager for the IZOD IndyCar Series.  “It was an impressive collection of laps Ed put up in the final qualifying session.  Also, congratulations to Andretti Autosport teammates Carlos Muñoz and Marco Andretti on qualifying for the front row.  The focus for Chevrolet, our V6 powered teams and drivers, and our technical partners remains on the ultimate goal – winning the Indianapolis 500-mile race on May 26th.”
 
Fifteen of the 17 drivers in Chevrolet V6 powered cars have secured starting positions for next weekend’s Indianapolis 500.
 
E.J Viso, A.J. Allmendinger and Will Power qualified fourth, fifth and sixth to secure second row starting positions on the grid. Defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe will make up the third row of the starting field.
 
Other Team Chevy drivers also locked into the top-24 starting positions from the first day of qualifying are JR Hildebrand, Tony Kanaan, Oriol Servia, Sebastien Bourdais, Townsend Bell and Simona De Silvestro.
 

Summit Racing–Kansas Nationals

Line Qualified 7th, Geared to Go Rounds in Topeka
 
Event:  25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals
Location: Heartland Park Topeka, Topeka, Kansas
Day/Date: Saturday, May 18, 2013
 
Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line made four runs down the racetrack in his Chevrolet Camaro at Heartland Park Topeka and is eagerly preparing to make the most of Sunday, when he will start from the No. 7 position and square off with Matt Hartford in the first round of eliminations at the 25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals.
 
Line made two smooth and steady passes in his Summit Racing Chevy on opening day in Topeka, clearing the finish line with a 6.684 at 207.40 mph followed by an improved 6.657, 208.20. Although the second set of runs at the Kansas facility weren’t quite as productive, Line continued to exhibit top-half efforts and clocked a 6.696, 206.86 in the third qualifier followed by a 6.720, 206.10 in the hot and sticky midday conditions.
 
The runs were respectable, however, the Houston winner was in no way satisfied.
 
“So far we haven’t made the quick passes that we’ve been hoping to make here, and we’re not very happy about that,” said Line. “It’s great to qualify in the top half with our Summit Racing Chevy Camaros, but really, my teammate Greg Anderson is sixth and I’m seventh – and that’s just not where we want to be. We want to be one and two, right there at the top.
 
“The good news is that tomorrow we’ll have a chance to get it right on raceday with our Team Summit Camaros. We aren’t where we want to be, but tomorrow is a new day.”
 
Line will meet Hartford in the first round of eliminations for the second time this season. The last time the two sparred in the opening act was just a few weeks ago in Houston, when Line bested his opponent en route to the final round and, ultimately, the win.
 
“We always hope for the best, but really, we know what the Summit Racing team is capable of,” said Line. “We just need to make sure we live up to our own expectations tomorrow.”

Mopar Racing–Johnson and Gray Top Mopar Qualifiers at Kansas Nationals

Johnson and Gray Top Mopar Qualifiers at Kansas Nationals
 
·         Mopar qualifies third in Pro Stock and fourth in Funny Car at the 25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals
·         Johnson is top Mopar Pro Stock entry with a third place qualifying position
·         Gray qualifies fourth as top Mopar entry in Funny Car class
·         Johnson and Coughlin had exact same e.t. and incremental times on their second qualifying runs with just .16 mph difference
·         Coughlin aiming for his 500th round win at Topeka
 

 

Topeka, Kansas (Saturday, May 18, 2013) – Under grey skies and humid conditions at Heartland Park near Topeka, Mopar drivers wrapped up two days of qualifying in preparation for Sunday’s 25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals.  Defending Pro Stock winner of the event, Allen Johnson was the top Mopar entry with a third place qualifying spot, while Johnny Gray was fourth quickest to lead the Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car contingency.

 

Johnson quickest run was made in Friday’s second qualifying session when both he and teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. not only posted the exact same elapsed time of 6.633 seconds, but matched incremental times as well at 60 ft (0.997 sec), 330 ft (2.784), 660 ft (4.272) and 1,000 ft (5.553) marks.  Only a 0.16 mph difference put the Johnson’s Mopar Express Lane Dodge in third spot ahead of the Jegs.com Mopar with the quicker speed of 208.62 mph.

 

Johnson wrapped up qualifying on a high note by setting the quickest elapsed time of the final Pro Stock session to add three more bonus points to his total, but remained third to no.1 qualifier Mike Edwards who posted his seventh pole position in eight events.

 

“We’re making gains and that’s the goal,” said Johnson who has two wins in the last three years at the higher altitude track. “We were third in two sessions and then quickest in that last one and that gives us a bit of a confidence boost heading into eliminations. We knew Jeg (Coughlin Jr.) and I were pretty close but to see the numbers match up like that on Friday was pretty neat and shows just how consistent we can be. Conditions should be just about the same on Sunday and hopefully the rain will hold off so we can do our best to get through as many rounds as we can.”

 

Johnson will match up with Deric Kramer in the first round of eliminations while Coughlin, who qualified fourth, will face Greg Stanfield.

 

“I’m happy with the way we’ve started here at Heartland Park,” said Coughlin who could reach a milestone 500 round victories in his Pro Stock career by reaching the semifinals on Sunday. “We were second in the first session and fourth the other three runs. I’m real confident the car is going to continue to perform well, and I feel great behind the wheel. I like the total package we’ve brought to the track this weekend.”

 

The HEMI-powered entries of V. Gaines and Vincent Nobile qualified eighth and ninth respectively and will face each other in the first round of eliminations.

 

In Funny Car qualifying, the top eleven cars were all in the 4.0-second range with John Force lowering the e.t. track record to 4.043 (313.22mph) to earn the pole position. Don Schumacher Racing’s Johnny Gray put his Mopar fourth on the scoring sheets with a 4.053-second (313.37 mph) final run and will meet Alexis DeJoria in the first round of eliminations.  

 

Matt Hagan’s “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Dodge Charger R/T was sixth with his e.t. of 4.069 seconds and he’ll face Bob Tasca in first round action.  Don Schumacher Racing teammate and defending winner at Topeka, Jack Beckman made his quickest pass of the weekend on his final run (4.081 sec /312.42 mph) to keep him ninth on the timing charts. He will face Cruz Pedregon as his first match up while Mopar teammate Ron Capps was tenth (4.087 / 309.77) and has Tim Wilkerson for his first round competitor.

 

ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will provide coverage of this weekend’s 25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals, the eighth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, with a three hour broadcast of the elimination rounds on Sunday, May 19, starting at 8 p.m. (ET) from Heartland Park near Topeka.

Chevy Racing–All Star Race

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
MAY 18, 2013
 
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/WILD TURKEY FOUNDATION CHEVROLET SS was the winner of the 40-lap Sprint Showdown; and earned a transfer spot to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
 
Additionally, DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS won the 2013 Sprint Fan Vote, giving her a starting spot in the Sprint All-Star race.
 
Of 22 total entries, Team Chevy has 10 Chevrolet SS race cars in the field.
 
PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPTS:
 
JAMIE McMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FOUNDATION CHEVROLET SS – SPRINT SHOWDOWN WINNER
 
KERRY THARP:  Our winner of the Sprint Showdown and now he’ll transfer into the 2013 NASCAR Sprint All‑Star Race is Jamie McMurray. Congratulations had a strong car.  You drove the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops National Wild Turkey Foundation Chevrolet, and talk about your run out here tonight.  Congratulations on the win.
 
JAMIE McMURRAY:  Yeah, I mean, obviously being out front is massive.  When I got by Martin at the start of the race, I was only running ‑‑ I was trying to take it easy because I didn’t know with the track being green how quickly the tires would fall off, and even running at like 80 percent it was amazing what a difference just being in clean air was.  I had a really good car in practice yesterday.  I thought honestly the 56 and I had the two best cars looking at times yesterday, and then the two‑tire stop was the right call for us, it got us up front.  When the 13 chose the inside on the restart I felt really good about being able to get around him on no tires and the fact that I had the outside. That was good.
Q.  Jamie, you’ve won here before.  You’ve got 40 laps on the field of knowledge.  Do you think you can do it?
JAMIE McMURRAY:  Well, starting in the back is going to be completely different.  I haven’t run one lap behind a car yet.  In practice yesterday I pulled out on new tires behind a car that was a fair bit off the pace and it took me four or five laps to pass him and then as soon as you’d pass, you’d be half a second, three quarters of a second faster.  It’s going to be really hard to pass cars.  I think there will be a lot of strategy in the pits.
 
So I don’t know.  I will tell you that I’ve raced my way in before, but I have a much better car tonight than what I’ve ever had here.  I feel really good about it.  I think if we have track position certainly we could be a contender tonight.  Our car is really quick.
Q.  Jamie, are you saying that we may be looking at a race where the guy who gets out front is just going to say goodbye to the rest of the field?
JAMIE McMURRAY:  Well, it’s only 20 laps and these cars have so much grip that it’s going to be hard to pass the guy up front, absolutely. It’s that way every week. It’s just that here only being 20 laps you don’t have to conserve anything.  You can drive it as hard as you want, and it’s very aero sensitive.  The thing that I noticed in practice is normally the top groove in 3 and 4 will come in and if you get tight on the bottom you can make a lot of ground up on the top.  I always run up there and I couldn’t make it work yesterday.
 
I’d be curious to see if we can make that work with a lot more cars on the track and how it’s going to come in.  It’s no different than any other week.  I’m just telling you that my car up front was quite a bit better.
Q.  What does it mean to get in, even if you’re not able to win the money and everything, just to get in, the attention.  What does that mean?
JAMIE McMURRAY:  Well, if you’re a full‑time Sprint Cup guy and you don’t win a race and you’re not in that race, last night for me, it’s really hard.  You want to feel like you’re a part of that A team and that you’re a part of these guys, and it’s even harder when you’ve been a part of it before, when you’ve won races and you get to do all the pit crew stuff, you get to come in on pit road at 10,000 miles an hour last night, I wanted to get to be a part of all of that.  When you go home early tonight, the guys that are leaving right now, it’s hard.  They’ll all tell you that. It’s really hard to get in your car and drive out of here and listen to this race on the radio or get home, take a shower and then watch it on TV. Yeah, I feel it’s an honor to get to do this tonight.
Q.  Jamie, you mentioned a vibration on the radio.  Is that anything to worry about?
JAMIE McMURRAY:  Yeah, I’m a little worried about it.  I didn’t know what it was.  We’ve had some issues with tires spinning on the rims and getting out of balance, and it doesn’t feel like that.  We all bring engines here that are on kill.  Our engine tonight is running much hotter than normal, got more tape on the grille, just experimenting, so I get nervous about that just because I worry about everything in general so when something small happens I tend to worry more.  I wasn’t going to say anything on the radio but I said something ‑‑ I didn’t know if they let them plug the tap lap in to check whatever changes we can make.  There’s nothing we can do about it, but I really don’t know what it is.
 
KERRY THARP:  Thank you, guys.  Good luck in the all‑star race.
 
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – SPRINT FAN VOTE WINNER
 
Also transferring into the 2013 NASCAR Sprint All‑Star Race is Danica Patrick as she wins the 2013 Sprint Fan Vote.  She drives the No. 10 Go Daddy Chevrolet for Stewart‑Haas Racing.  You had a nice run out there tonight.  Talk about getting to race under the lights for $1 million, possibly $2 million in the Sprint All‑Star Race.
 
DANICA PATRICK:  Well, obviously first and very foremost, thank you to all the fans who voted for me or maybe voted so many times for me.  I’m very fortunate to have the fan base that I do, and I never forget that.  Thanks to the Sprint Fan Vote.
 
Obviously being able to vote on your app and have that vote twice, that’s probably helpful.  It’s a big honor.  This is for the fans.  God, I’m going to sound really cheesy right now.  I’m going to race for the fans tonight because I really, really ‑‑ I got done with that race and honestly I feel really fired up.  I wanted to make passes and make my way up and do what I could to get into those first two positions and didn’t do that, and I feel like I owe it to them to put on a good show or a better show in the All‑Star Race.
 
My good team here made something ‑‑ I didn’t know they made it, so I don’t want this to sound like I’m coming up with this all on my own, but they knew how good my fans were and I knew how hard they worked, so we made a thanks, fans, sign to put on the car just in case I won, so thank you, Team Danica and Stewart‑Haas.  So that’ll be on the car.  Anyway, glad to be in the race.
Q.  I don’t know if you thought you had the fan vote in your pocket or anything, but I’m wondering ‑‑
DANICA PATRICK:  Shoot, this looks like it was in my pocket, doesn’t it?  (Laughter)
Q.  It’s because you kind of thought that you would get in that way that you were able to conserve or keep the car clean or anything?
DANICA PATRICK:  I mean, I think that it enters your mind that you don’t do things that are going to put you in a position to crash, but I didn’t think about that at the beginning of those 20‑lap runs, but when it gets to end of them, like at the end there where I was running where I was running, I clearly wasn’t going to be first or second, so if I was in a fortunate enough position to be where I am now and be the fan vote, I can’t move on with a cr
ashed car and there’s nothing to be gained by trying something desperate in the last five laps.  I suppose at that point in time you say finish the race and there’s nothing to be gained to do something that’s not calculated at all.
Q.  Why do you think your fan base is so rabid and supportive of you?
DANICA PATRICK:  I feel like that would be a good piece.  I don’t know.  I feel like some fans need to be interviewed and find out what it is.  I’ve said many times that I’m not sure exactly what it is that people like or see or cheer for in me.  I would imagine I’m a driver and I race cars, and to some degree obviously being different being a girl there’s things there, but what is it?  There are lots of unique different drivers out there.
 
I don’t know.  All I have said and that I know is that I do my best to be myself all the time, to let the fans see different sides of my personality, to be honest with the fans, and at the end of the day, even if they don’t necessarily agree with everything I say or do, at least they can respect my honesty.  I’ve just been really lucky and I’ve been very fortunate to have you guys on my side many, many times, and that makes a difference.
 
KERRY THARP:  Danica, congratulations.  Look forward to watching your race.
 
DANICA PATRICK:  Thank you.  I’m fired up.  Let’s do this.

John Force Racing–Kansas Results

AUTO CLUB’S HIGHT RUNNER-UP AT KANSAS NATIONALS

 

TOPEKA, KS —- For the third time in four years Robert Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang team were running for the money on Sunday afternoon at the NHRA Kansas Nationals. Facing veteran Johnny Gray and his Pitch Energy Dodge Charger in the final round Hight had lane choice but for the first time in four final round meetings Gray took the win.  Gray posted a solid 4.067 second pass as Hight’s Mustang smoked the tires for the first time this weekend.

 

“I really believed we were going to get this one today. Not to take anything away from Johnny Gray. If this thing would have made a run like it had been all day we would have given Johnny a better race,” said Hight, the 2010 and 2011 Kansas Nationals winner. “It is hard to explain why we do well here. I don’t really know why. We have had some team members through the years that have been from this part of the country. This is just a great race track. (Crew chief) Jimmy Prock has won here in Top Fuel and Funny Car.”

 

Hight took out Jeff Arend in the first round and then outran BobTasca III’s Ford Mustang Funny Car in the second round. Hight’s semi-final race was a monster John Force Racing versus Don Schumacher Racing match-up. Hight was giving away lane choice to Capps but Prock had the Auto Club Mustang ready. It blasted down the track in 4.044 second nearly equaling John Force’s track record ET set yesterday.

 

“I just kept expecting good runs. I look at the data with Jimmy and I see what he is trying to do. You can see the potential if we just get the back half right. It wasn’t surprising. I honestly thought if we got it right in the final it was going to run better than that,” said Hight.

 

“It was cool at driver introductions this morning Capps came up to me and said it was good to have us back. That just shows the class of the guys we race. I am sure if we start really doing well he is going to take that back,” joked Hight. “It is cool that he noticed we had improved and said something. Right before the semi-finals he came up and said he just saw a smile on Jimmy’s face. It is noticeable that the Auto Club team is back.”

 

Hight moved up on the Mello Yello point standings from 8th to 7th and now has a firm position in the Top Ten heading into a critical stretch of the season. For his entire Auto Club team the qualifying success and then race day success really had an impact.

 

“Without a doubt having a weekend like this is great. Now it is just a matter of time. We are going to win some races. To come in here and just hit it that first run was big. If we wouldn’t have had a good run who knows how this weekend would have gone. If we would have missed it and then had to start working on it,” said Hight.

 

“That first run is just huge. The biggest thing is how this weekend affected by team. We had a big team meeting in Indy. When you are struggling team morale is down and you are just working harder. Things just aren’t right. We decided to come in here with a new combination and a new attitude. It is pretty cool to see some smiles on all these guys’ faces. I believe we will see smiles for a long time to come.”

 

John Force led the team in qualifying grabbing the top spot in qualifying with a track record 4.043 on Saturday. Force opened Sunday with a win over former teammate Tony Pedregon. In the second round Force was outrun by Jack Beckman due to a wiring malfunction in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. At the end of the day the 15-time champion was pleased with the overall improvement in all his cars.

 

“Any time you can get a race car to the final that is part of the game plan. Winning is the icing on the cake. It is important to get the exposure for the sponsors like Auto Club, Ford, Castrol and Traxxas. We made some changes to our chassis and with our tune-up. We had a lot of meetings and got a game plan,” said Force, the nine-time Kansas Nationals winner. “To come out and be 1-2-3 in qualifying shows that we are moving in the right direction. We are starting to go rounds and get those extra runs down the race track without smoking the tires. All four of our race cars are testing tomorrow.  That takes budget but we have to do it to get the runs and get where we want to be at the end of the season.”

 

The winningest driver in NHRA history was pleased that the entire event was able to be completed. It was the first time in a month that all qualifying sessions were run and there were no interruptions on race day for weather.

 

“It was not only important for the teams and the crew chiefs to be able to make good decisions. It is just getting seat time. That is a big deal especially for a driver like Brittany who is a rookie,” said Force. “Courtney has some experience from last year but getting runs is critical. Mostly getting a full event in is good for the sport. If the fans can’t have a show and what they buy the ticket for then they won’t come back. They put on a good show here at Heartland Park Topeka.”

 

Courtney Force qualified in the No. 2 spot coming into race day and took on Dale Creasy Jr. in the first round for the first time ever. Force took the win with a 4.136 ET at 311.63 mph and moved on to the next round.

 

“We came out strong in eliminations. Our cars qualified 1, 2 and 3 and all of our Funny Cars got past first round. It was a great start to the day. Our Traxxas Ford Mustang machine was running strong. We had a problem with a dropped cylinder on the first pass, which slowed us down a little, but we were still able to get the win over Creasy,” said Force.

 

“It was tough racing him because my brother-in-law Danny, his dad works on that team. It’s like second family over there and it makes it that much tougher when you have to race family,” said Force.

 

Force had Ron Capps in the next round of eliminations. Force lost lane choice and ran a 4.233 ET at 300.73 mph after dropping a cylinder and getting close to the wall.

 

“We went up second round and did the best we could. Capps and I both struggled getting it down the track. My Traxxas car dropped a cylinder and pulled me over to the wall so I just tried to drive it back to the center of the groove, but it just wasn’t enough to get that win light.

 

“We’re coming out here tomorrow to test. We’re excited for that. I know we’ve got a great hot rod, we just have to have a little bit more next time. I’m ready to get these problems squared away and move on to Englishtown,” said Force.

 

In Top Fuel Brittany Force and the Castrol EDGE Top Fueler ran into a tough first round opponent, Khalid alBalooshi racing for Al-Anabi Racing. Both Top Fuel dragsters launched together but unfortunately for the rookie driver the maroon and gold alBalooshi dragster pulled away.

 

For Force just getting four qualifying runs was a win.

“We have been losing runs in qualifying because of weather. It was great to get four runs in qualifying and we made good runs. We are in the low 4.80s and I am getting experience which is important,” said Force.

Chevy Racing–Indy Qualifying– Fast Nine

CHEVROLET INDYCAR V6 DRIVER QUOTES – FAST NINE SHOOTOUT FOR THE POLE
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: POLE WINNER:
ABOUT LETTING THE POLE SINK IN: “A little bit, but you know, I love the race a whole lot more than qualifying. And I really want to send a message and make sure I lead by example and to the team so we don’t forget why we are really here. This is fun and it’s huge for our team, I don’t want them thinking that it’s not but the pole won’t mean much if we don’t go out and perform on race day. You know, I love it here, I love racing here, I love going fast here, it’s cool to seee the speeds climbing again but this track the race means a lot to the other 32 guys that are going to start the race too so I don’t think it’s just special to me. I’ve been in positions to qualifying in the top 10 but this is my first year where we had a chance at pole and I thought, and really believed that we had a chance at pole so we were agressive all day long, and a little too aggressive in the first round . I told the guys before the first segment today and before the shootout that I would be much more mad if we went conservative and didn’t take a shot at it then if we took a big shot at it and missed so they made the right calls, I’m really proud of them.”
 
ABOUT FIRST MEMORY OF QUALIFYING “I remember watching Rick Meers qualify here in ’91 in the Turn 2 Suites and that’s my first memory of qualifications here.”
 
WALK US THROUGH THE FOUR BIGGEST LAPS YOU ARE GOING TO RUN HERE AT INDIANAPOLIS:
“I felt like my first run earlier I took too fast of a warm up lap.  I really took it easy on that warm up and still went a 226 (m.p.h.). I thought we were going to have a shot at a 229 (m.p.h.) to do two laps over 229 (m.p.h.) the fastest I have ever been around here in qualifying. It’s a lot of fun. I was really happy with the first two and third.  The fourth lap I was getting really loose and keep my foot in it, but still scrubbed a lot of speed.  Hopefully, it’s going to be enough to hang on.”
 
WAS IT SMOOTH OR A WHITE KNUCKLE RUN?
“The first three were really good the last one I put on a show out of turn two.  I know some of these cars have less downforce than us.  I felt like we were right on the limit.  Hopefully, these Penske guys that are more trimmed out will fall off more.”
 
HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN WHAT YOU HAVE DONE HERE TODAY?
“A lot of great people on our team.  We have a great sponsor in Fuzzy’s Vodka that gives us the tools to do what we need to do.  Poles are won by the team.  They put a lot of work into this car.  We’ve got a great leadership team and a great group of people.”
 
CAROLOS MUNOZ, NO. 26 UNISTRAW ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND :
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
“Yeah, to be honest there are no words to describe how you feel to be in the front row. We knew from the beginning we had a really good car, a really fast car alone and in the race behind so many guys, you know?  I’m really happy. To be just 21, just a little kid and sit in the front row as [Juan Pablo] Montoya did, he was second when he ran the Indy 500. So right now I have to focus on the race and I have to finish this month off just the way I started.”
 
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 3RD:
TELL US ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING: “Yeah, definitely pleased.  Extremely proud of my team.  Five out of the top nine is just an incredible achievement.  That has to be some kind of a record.  I don’t think there’s been five cars on one team let alone in the top nine.  Chevrolet, what a statement.  I’m definitely proud of them.  But as for the RC car, after my first run this afternoon, I wouldn’t say my pole hopes were totally dashed but they diminished a little bit, and I knew if we just went the conservative route that we’d be on the first two rows anyway.”
 
 E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT/HVM CHEVROLET, QUALIED 4TH:
ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT:
“Starting my sixth Indy 500 in the second row is a great accomplishment. I’m very proud to be in the team I’m racing with this year – with a group of incredible professionals that I’m surrounded by. I believe my crew did a great job; we’ve been working very hard here every single day we’ve been at the track. It’s not only a job that has been done this week – it took all the winter for the team to figure out many of things that we were able to put on the car. To put five cars in the top nine, it means a lot. I’m starting next to my teammates, and at this point I’m just looking forward to having a great race.”
 
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 2 IZOD TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 5TH:
NOT A POLE RUN, BUT A FANTASTIC DAY FOR YOU AND THIS TEAM:
“Yeah, it definitely was.  Everybody on the Team Penske IZOD Chevy worked really hard this week.  Getting in the Fast Nine it’s one of those things that was our goal, then you get into it and you try to raise your expectation you maybe had of having something really cool happen.  The car was better, we made it better it was kind of a downforce level I hadn’t run yet.  Didn’t know what to expect it was a decent balance too much understeer and just kept scrubbing too much speed each lap.  Kind of wore the front tires out so overall not bad.  We will see where we end up and we will have a good starting spot for the big race.”
 
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU TAKE AWAY FROM THIS EXPERIENCE TODAY?
“Just living it.  Indy pole day, enjoying it, seeing what it’s all about, the excitement level of the crowed and everything.  It’s really cool.”
 
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 6TH:
ON HIS QUALIFYING: “I was going to go with more downforce level than I did this morning.
But yeah, it was good.  We took everything off and went for it, definitely starting the last lap I really did not want to do it, it was so bloody ‑‑ yeah.  Even the last two corners, you’re like, man, I don’t know whether this thing is going to stick.  But good fun, and it’s good to be starting on the second row, and we’ll see what we can do.”
 
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 7TH: ON HIS QUALIFYING: “I had a big moment. I got really loose in three.  I had to catch it and there was a lift accompanied with it, which killed the lap. We were kind of rolling the dice.  I was telling these guys, the sweat    On an oval especially, the sweat on a race suit, there’s a direct correlation…the looser you are, the more you sweat.”
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 SHELL V-POWER/PENNZOIL ULTRA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 8TH:  YOU HAD A FIRST GOOD LAP THEN YOU HAD A HANDFUL AFTER THAT TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN:
“Yeah, it’s Indianapolis ask my boys ‘you guys want to take a chance or you guys want to be conservative?’ To least we might have a shot as well.  Democracy back there said ‘no, let’s take a chance.’ Unfortunately, I was sliding too much losing a lot of speed unfortunately I was sideways, but not on the straightaways.  But we took a chance.  At least we are going to sleep that we tried.  Again, we have a good car at least hopefully Will (Power) now will be able to, Ed (Carpenter) did a great job.  But hopefully Will will be able to do it.”
YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO WIN FOUR A LITTLE OVER A WEEK AWAY:
“Absolutely, today is just for stretching to try, but it didn’t do it.  For sure the race we know what we need to do.”
 
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 9TH:
ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:
“That was a kick in the pants we were pulling a gear coming to the line to take the green there and we got kicked into the hard limiter.  It just killed the lap. We tried to take a bit of a swing at it.&nb
sp; We were ninth anyway coming in so we didn’t lose anything.  We had nothing to lose so we kind of swung at it a little bit.  Ultimately the speed wasn’t there, but for as hard as I worked and as loose as that car was man it sucks to have one lap like that on the board.”
 
NINTH ISN’T ALL THAT BAD:
“Well exactly right if ninth is a bad day for us that means certainly this team is doing something right.  To have all five Andretti Autosport cars in the top nine it’s incredible when you look at how competitive this field is right now.  Huge credit to the guys, Chevy, Firestone, GoDaddy, everybody, it’s not a bad place to start for next Sunday.” 

Summit Racing–Anderson Ready to Battle from the No. 6 Position in Topeka

Anderson Ready to Battle from the No. 6 Position in Topeka
 
Event:  25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals
Location: Heartland Park Topeka, Topeka, Kansas
Day/Date: Saturday, May 18, 2013
 
Day two of the NHRA Kansas Nationals concluded with Summit Racing driver Greg Anderson qualifying sixth and preparing for a first-round match with Larry Morgan. Anderson, who has qualified in the top half of the field at all but one of the events during the 2013 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, had the opportunity to make four passes down the racetrack for the first time since the Las Vegas race earlier this spring.
 
Unforgiving weather has plagued qualifying, and sometimes raceday, at the most recent three events leading up to this weekend’s NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, and qualifying has regularly been shortened to just two or three sessions as opposed to the usual four.
 
“It was good to be able to get all four runs in finally,” said Anderson. “There isn’t much you can do about the weather, and it just seems like we’ve fought that a lot lately. You have to take whatever Mother Nature deals you, and you do the best you can. We were thankful that we were able to make four passes so far this weekend, and we’d like to make four more tomorrow, that’s for sure.”
 
On the first day of qualifying, Anderson’s Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro made smooth runs on a hot racing surface that was surprisingly responsive. Equally as surprising was the fact that the runs were not as quick as Team Summit believed they had the potential to be. Anderson clocked a 6.662 at 207.88 mph in the first session and crossed the finish line with a 6.655 at 207.85 mph in the early evening session.
 
The team regrouped and came to the table with high hopes on Saturday morning for the first of two remaining sessions, but a 6.717 at 204.82 mph wasn’t what they were looking for.
 
“We went in the wrong direction there,” said Anderson. “We lost two miles an hour that we shouldn’t have, and that was an eye-opener. So for the next round, we spun around, did a 180, and picked that 2 1/2 mph back up tonight [with a 6.705 at 206.80 mph]. That was the right direction, and now we definitely know the direction we need to go in for tomorrow. We’ll pray for more good weather and to have sharp minds so that we can make good decisions, and we’ll see what we can do with our Summit Racing Camaros.”
 

Chevy Racing–Indy Qualifying Session I

CHEVROLET INDYCAR V6 DRIVER QUOTES – FIRST SESSION QUALIFYING:
 
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: TAKE US THROUGH THE RUN. DID YOU GET THE MOST OUT OF IT?
“I think I got the most out of the run.  The car was a nice balance the whole time.  Very good speed, the right gear and all that type of thing.  Yeah, that is what we need later on is to repeat something like that.  I’m sure that these other guys that are trim will get pretty close to it, but good start.”
 
HOW MUCH TO YOU ANTICIPATE THE CONDITIONS TO CHANGE BETWEEN NOW AND WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO GO BACK OUT THERE?
“I think if that fast nine is starting at 6:00 pm, it’s only going to get cooler.  Which really drags the car down, so that is going to be the big change.”
 
YOU MAY HAVE FIGURED OUT THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
“Well, it’s just qualifying, but definitely had a very nice balance.  A lot of speed and well it’s a good way to start, but hopefully once everyone sees how trimmed you are, they’ll go back and have a look.  Real good balance and we have a shot at the pole.  That is what I’m happy about.”
 
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET: ON SESSION ONE QUALIFYING:  “I think we certainly can be better; we’re working on finding the balance now. We ran so much race trim, we didn’t work on qualifying. It is a good starting point. We’ll see what the times do; see how things progress, then we’ll have to go back out there. But man, even that first round, those last couple of laps, I was definitely holding my breath. The thing was getting a little free. It is difficult qualifying around here when you have a car that is pretty free on exit. The nerves (before qualifying) are actually similar to those before starting the race. Very similar. The nerves of sitting in that line, and the time going by. As Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest thing. That is how it is. This place, just kind of heat soaks on you. You have to sit there and think about everything. All the variables bouncing around. We had a good first lap. I’m thankful for that. The Fast Nine should be fun. Will (Power) put up a big number there, so we are all gunning for him.”
 
CARLOS MUÑOZ, NO. 26 UNISTRAW ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET: ON SESSION ONE QUALIFYING: “I am happy. To be in the Fast Nine was my main goal. Probably now we are safe in the nine quickest. I’m really happy with the car. I have a really good car.  I want to thank my team. There is still a ways to go, but I am really happy.”
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 SHELL V-POWER PENNZOIL ULTRA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: I SAW YOU SMILING. FIST WAS PUMPING WHEN YOU GOT OUT OF THE RACE CAR. WERE YOU PRETTY HAPPY WITH THAT RUN?
“Well it wasn’t fist-pumping. I was congratulating absolutely everyone from the team. The guys did a great job putting everything together. Unfortunately if you did it; but the first lap I went to shift the gears and unfortunately got stuck between gears. So I have to kind of like lift, right on the finish line here, and start all over again. It really hurt a lot of speed. But the Chevy engine power enabled us to recover. So far, so good. Will (Power) certainly is coming and we have three strong cars. Still the Andretti guys. I don’t know what they’re holding but it could be a big surprise out there.”
 
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: ON SESSION ONE QUALIFYING: “I think we can make it better. But I’m not sure we can make it a 229 (m.p.h.). That is the part that scares me, and I think Marco (Andretti) is going to be really fast yet. But I think we can get an average of over 228 (m.p.h.) if we can make it a little better. But I’ve known we’ve had speed. We’ve managed to stay out of the tows more than some of the other guys. We have been working on our plan. So, I was expecting to be quick. I am not positive we are locked in, but hopefully we get to go play in the shootout.”
 
A.J. ALLMENDINGER, NO. 2 IZOD TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: ON HIS QUALIFYING: “I have to thank everybody at Team Penske, Will (Power) and Helio (Castroneves) and just Rick Mears, everybody on this race team that bust their butt.  It’s such a fun team to be around.  It’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had when I let myself not be stressed about going out there and performing.  It’s a fun team just to be a part of.  I feel like the luckiest guy in the world to have this chance.  Chevy for all the support they have given me, just everything it’s amazing.”
 
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET: ON SESSION ONE QUALIFYING: “I think there is more in the car. We definitely have to pick up some consistency. I wasn’t pleased with our drop off.  There is going to be more drop-off as temps go up because there is less grip out there.”
 
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET:  DID  THE CAR CHANGE THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THE RUN?
“Yeah we definitely had more understeer than what we predicted.  The wind and the conditions are a little bit tricky as well, it’s pretty humid.  This humidity is affecting the car in a different way than what we expected.  We do have a fast car and we believe if we go for a second shot we know what we need.”
 
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET: QUICK RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE ON THAT FIRST LAP, SLOWED DOWN QUITE A BIT AT THE END OF THAT RUN WHAT HAPPENED?
“Sorry of my Indianapolis isn’t it? You know I’m not sure it’s funny the guys did a great job finding some speed in the car.  That is a good chunk quicker than we ran in practice.  we didn’t think we were the quickest car, but one of the strengths we had in our qualifying sims (simulations) was that we were really consistent.  We had really low drop off.  I’m not sure where that came from.  It’s a bit unfortunate.  Obviously, already lost us a little bit of time and some spots, but maybe something we can look at if we get into the Fast Nine, if there is a Fast Nine. Either way proud of the guys like I said it was a good chunk of speed and hopefully just gets us in the right end of the field and it’s all about Sunday so we’ve got to get ready for that.”
 
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET: ON SESSION ONE QUALIFYING: “Not exactly what we wanted today. Next weekend is what matters. I think we’ve got a great race car. Being 10th versus ending up seventh or eighth doesn’t make that much difference I don’t think. It’s a bummer because I think we have the speed. I don’t know how close mine and (James) Hinches’ average is, but I’m sure it is pretty close. That is tough because basically until our last lap, I think we were right there, and fell off a little bit too much on the last lap. I think I probably went a little too hard on my first lap, it’s all just little bits and pieces. I’m really happy for the Panther guys, and the National Guard car to be where we are at. Certainly if we can start in the top-12 here, that will do just fine here.”
 
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 HYDROXYCUT KV RACING TECHNOLOGY SH RACING CHEVROLET:
YOU ARE WELL LIKED HERE IN INDIANAPOLIS:
“It’s unbelievable I mean every time it makes me want to cry.  I mean I wish I could hear them.  It’s like obviously I hear them when I’m out of the car.  It’s unbelievable.  It’s an experience.  If I never win this thing, ever, that is what I will take home.  They make me feel like a winner.”
 
YOU SEEM RESOLVED WITH THE FACT THAT OPPORTUNITY MAY NEVER HAPPEN.  THIS YEAR IT LOOKS LIKE THIS CAR IS SOLID AND THIS TEAM IS POISED FOR VICTORY.  DO YOU EVER LOOK PAST A DAY WHERE YOU MIGHT NOT COME OUT OF HERE WITH A WIN?
“Every year it’s an opportunity. 
So every time I come back here I’m going to try as hard as I can.  So, it might come, it might not.  I can leave with both.  I can leave with my face on the trophy and I can leave with my face not on the trophy.”
 
I BET IT WOULD LOOK A LOT BETTER ON THE TROPHY I’M SURE:
“Some people would disagree with that, but I agree with.”
 
WE WILL SEE ABOUT THE FAST NINE YOU ARE IN THE SHOW WE KNOW THAT. THERE WAS A ROAR THAT WENT OUT AS YOU EXITED PIT ROAD TO GO OUT AND QUALIFY.  GREAT SHOW SO FAR HERE:
“Definitely, I can’t thank you guys enough.  The only reason I come back to this place is for all of you.  You make me proud and unfortunately I cannot hear that inside the car, but I want to make sure we have that because it’s awesome.  I don’t know if we are going to make it to the fast nine, but we beat first, we beat last.  We can win this race for many times.  I want to thank the fans again.  I have a great time and I hope I can put on a good show for you guys, love you.”
TELL US ABOUT THE QUALIFYING EFFORT.  HOW ON EDGE WERE YOU OUT THERE?
“It was close, but we could have been a little bit more on the edge, but fortunately I think we missed a little bit, but we are in the show.  I think we will probably end up in the top 12 I hope.  We can make a good start for the fans on the outside and can enjoy that.  We can pass a few cars and we will lead the right lap this time hopefully.”
 
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 22 MECUM AUCTIONS PANTHER DREYER AND REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET: ON SESSION ONE QUALIFYING: “It’s a solid place to start this race. I know we had a faster car than that. We ended up a little conservative on downforce but that’s a gamble you always take here. If it was a normal day without the rain in the morning I would bet we would go out and try to go faster. Being this late in the day, it would be risky if something would go wrong.  We’ll take 13th, we’ll keep working tomorrow on what was already a great racecar yesterday. We’re very, very confident about the race.”
 
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET: TELL US ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING EFFORT HERE: “Overall we have to be happy with the result of the McAfee Variety Chevrolet #7.  It’s never fast enough but it’s well in the field.  We’re P15 and it’s in the show so we won’t have to worry about it tomorrow.  We can practice run and get some more traffic action to get the race car a little closer.  It was a good day overall but it can always be better.  It’s in the show.”
 
TOWNSEND BELL, NO. 60 SUNOCO “TURBO” PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET: HOW WAS THE CAR?
“You know it was great.  The car handles awesome.  We were pretty conservative on downforce just knowing that we wanted to put a solid run in and make sure we were comfortably in the top half hopefully.  The car was awesome; the guys have done a great job.  Of course we would like to be faster, but we will take it and start thinking about race day.”
 
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET:
TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN: “I think we kind of shot ourselves in the foot a little bit by withdrawing our first time. I’m pretty sure we had the speed to be a little bit faster, be even higher up there, but then we picked the wrong gear and that made us a little bit slower, which made everything a little bit more exciting. The race car was really good, but I think there was some more speed in it. I’m just happy to be in the race. Hopefully we can work on the race car for the race from now on so that we have a great race.”
 
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET: HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING? “It was a very tough day for the #6 guys.  We put so much effort in putting a quick car together and it was just definitely not what we expected.  We went out there with a very balanced car and the speed never came in.  In that way, it’s just being a passenger inside a car that doesn’t pull those two miles that you need.  It’s hard to digest but we need to stay positive and work towards a good race car.  We need to look forward and bring the car home on a good position.”
 
BUDDY LAZIER, NO. 91 LAZIER PARTNERS CHEVROLET:  WHERE DID THIS IDEA COME FROM?  WHO WAS THE FIRST PERSON, WAS IT YOU, WAS IT YOUR FATHER THAT SAID ‘LET’S RUN IN THE 2013 INDY 500’?
“We are here to support the Indy 500.  We love this place as a family.  We just saw an opportunity.  We went after it with some really good friends.  A whole bunch of business men from Colorado, really from all over the country that are good friends.  They are all skiers at our hotel.  It all happened probably in the beginning of April.  It was a last minute operation, the fact that we are running as well as we are I think is really a testament to these guys that have been working day and night.  These are some really big teams here you are competing against and to be able to come out and in really just one day get up to speed. 

Casey Currie Looking for Home Field Advantage as LOORS Pro Lite Points Leader Heading into Lake Elsinore


CORONA, Calif. (May 17, 2013) – Following back-to-back runner-up finishes at the third and fourth rounds of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORS) in Las Vegas, Monster Energy/General Tire driver Casey Currie is looking forward to coming home to Southern California for Rounds 5 and 6 of the championship from Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park in Lake Elsinore, Calif., May 18th and 19th.

Currie is looking for a little home field advantage on the track that sits closest to his hometown of Anaheim Hills as well as his Corona race shop. While he’s consistently finished at the front of the field this season, Currie wants nothing more than the thrill of victory this weekend so he can add to his early Pro Lite points lead.
 
“I always love racing at home and the track at Lake Elsinore has always been one we’ve excelled on,” said Currie. “It’s been a great start to the season to this point, but I want that win to help cement myself atop the point standings.”

Currie has spent the last three weeks making minor adjustments to his Monster Energy/General Tire truck, looking to find the right combination that will enable him to take that next step on the track and battle for victory. Currie is eager to rebound from a tough weekend in Lake Elsinore last season where he showed impressive speed and ran at the front of the field on both Saturday and Sunday, only to suffer misfortune in the late stages of each race.
 
Friday will signify the first time Currie’s Monster Energy/General Tire ride hits the track with a pair of practice sessions. After he makes the necessary adjustments to get the balance right and maximize the traction from all four General Tires, Currie will have the opportunity to qualify and earn his spot on the grid before each respective round on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

“We’re so close to mixing it up out front,” he added. “My qualifying has been solid, but I know I can lay down a better lap. I’ll need to if I’m going to really have a chance at winning one of these rounds this weekend. I’d love to be able to sweep Saturday and Sunday and walk away making a statement, but if we’re able to keep doing what we’ve been doing it’ll be a good weekend.”
 

Honda Racing–Franchitti, Sato Head Honda FieldIn Rain-Shortened Fast Friday at Indianapolis

Dario Franchitti, three-timeand defending Indianapolis 500 winner and a four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion, led the Honda-powered field Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on “Fast Friday”, the final day of practice prior to qualifying for this year’s 500-mile race.

Franchitti had posted the ninth-quickest speed, 227.080 mph, around the 2.5-mile oval when a thunderstorm brought an end to the day’s activities just after 3 p.m.  He also was quickest overall in practice on Wednesday.

Takuma Sato, the current IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader and winner of last month’s Grand Prix of Long Beach, posted the 10th-fastest speed today, despite running only 14 laps during the abbreviated day.

Action at the speedway continues tomorrow with a morning practice session, followed by Pole Day qualifying to set the first 24 starting positions for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.  Television coverage, beginning at 11 a.m. EDT, will be provided by the NBC Sports Network. 

Takuma Sato(#14 A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): “Today was quite straightforward. On ‘Fast Friday’ we have higher boost andonly look for the qualifying set up. After the first run we made some goodprogress and the second run was quite satisfying. We were not able toexplore more due to the rain but I think we’re in quite good shape. We’llreview the details tonight and fine tune the ABC Supply car tomorrow morningto prepare for qualifying. It was short but quite a good day.”

World of Outlaws–Schatz Slips Past Hodnett in Final Corner, Wins Williams Grove Thriller

Schatz Slips Past Hodnett in Final Corner, Wins Williams Grove Thriller
Defending champ drives to fourth World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Victory of ’13
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – May 17, 2013 – Donny Schatz caught and passed Greg Hodnett in the final corner on Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway to win his fourth World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series event of the season in thrilling fashion.

Schatz, who started 12th, picked off series points leader Daryn Pittman and two of Pennsylvania’s fiercest competitors, Fred Rahmer and Hodnett, over the final three laps to win at the historic central Pennsylvania venue for the 17th time in his career.

The lead was never safe in the 25-lap feature event. Paul McMahan started on the pole and led the first 10 laps before Hodnett worked his way to the front to complete Lap 11 just as caution came out. Hodnett tried to pull away on the restart but McMahan, Rahmer and Pittman stayed in close pursuit. It looked as if the vaunted PA Posse with Hodnett and Rahmer was going to deal the Outlaws their second consecutive defeat in as many nights before Schatz ran them both down on the last lap, surprising Rahmer by going to the outside in turns 1 and 2, then setting up Hodnett in turn 3, passing under him in turn 4 and charging down the long front stretch to absolutely stun the huge crowd.

“Man to lead the last lap is important and I got Greg at just the right time, he went to the bottom to protect it and I wasn’t about to lose that way,” said Schatz, driver of the Tony Stewart Racing STP/Armor All J&J. “I gave it everything I had tonight, it worked. A lot of nights it doesn’t.”

It definitely was working for Schatz, who has now finished first or second in each of the past three World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series events as he chases his sixth series championship.

“When my tires were cold I thought I could keep momentum around the top, then those guys showed me the bottom,” said Hodnett, driver of the Trone Outdoor Maxim. “I knew I needed to slow down and put the right rear back under the wing and hopefully it rotated and got a decent shot off. Donny was just able to run way harder than we were so, you know, just chalk it up to experience.”

Rahmer, the legendary leader of the PA Posse who is experiencing a bit of a resurgence on the Pennsylvania dirt tracks this season, looked at times as if he was going to be the man to beat, but Pittman, Hodnett and eventually Schatz were able to do just enough to hold him back.

“Our car wasn’t as good as it needed to be, you can’t drop the ball at all with these guys,” said Rahmer, driver of the Truline Contractors XXX machine. “We came home third and hopefully we can come back and just make the show [on Saturday] to start and just get a little better, I’ve got to drive a little better, the guys did a good job on the car, just a little off and you can’t do that on a show like this.”

Pittman, the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship leader, etched his 15th top-five finish this season with his fourth-place run after setting quick time.

The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series returns Saturday night to Williams Grove Speedway where the feature event will determine where the Morgan Cup trophy will reside the remainder of 2013. The traveling trophy goes to the organization represented by the highest finishing Outlaw or PA Posse racer in Saturday’s A-main. The past two seasons, a dash determined the Morgan Cup winner, with Jason Sides and Steve Kinser earning victories that let the trophy find a home in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series office in North Carolina.

Summit Racing–Anderson Determined to Pick Up on Second Day of Kansas Nationals

Anderson Determined to Pick Up on Second Day of Kansas Nationals
 
Event:  25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals
Location: Heartland Park Topeka, Topeka, Kansas
Day/Date: Friday, May 17, 2013
 
The first day of the NHRA Kansas Nationals left Summit Racing driver Greg Anderson hungry and a little perplexed as he made a pair of clean runs, just like teammate Jason Line, but didn’t see the numbers come up on the scoreboard that he expected. Eager for day two of the event at Heartland Park Topeka, Anderson is set on rectifying the situation and rising in the line-up from his current position as the provisional No. 6 qualifier.
 
“Quite honestly, we felt that we had made decent runs today,” said Anderson. “It’s a little puzzling because we’re just not lighting up the scoreboard like we should be. The runs weren’t perfect, but they were good, they just ran like they had the parachute dragging all the way down the racetrack. We know these Summit Racing Camaros are better than this, so we’ll be working hard before those next two qualifying runs to pick up the pace.”
 
Anderson clocked a 6.662 at 207.88 mph in the first session and crossed the finish line with a 6.655 at 207.85 mph in the later run on the first day in Topeka.
 
“It’s not the track; the track seems fine and it held up great all day,” said Anderson. “We’re just not going nearly as fast as we think we should for how clean these runs are. We were being too conservative, so we’re just going to have to get more aggressive tomorrow, and we think this track will hold it. We just need to be careful not to go over the edge, and hopefully, we can move up the ladder.”
 

Summit Racing–Line Surprised by Early Results, Eager for Day Two in Topeka

Line Surprised by Early Results, Eager for Day Two in Topeka
 
Event:  25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals
Location: Heartland Park Topeka, Topeka, Kansas
Day/Date: Friday, May 17, 2013
 
Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line made a pair of clean and straight runs down the racetrack at Heartland Park Topeka at the first day of the 25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals. The runs were so clean and straight, in fact, that Line was taken aback to learn that the times recorded were not among the quickest when he emerged from his blue Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro at the top end.
 
“I was really surprised,” admitted Line, who was 6.684, 207.40 mph in the first session and improved to a 6.657, 208.20. “The second run, especially, I expected more because it was probably the nicest run I’ve made all year. When I crossed the finish line, I thought to myself, ‘Well, that’s at least a 6.62.’ Nope, it was a 6.65. It was really surprising.”
 
There was some cloud cover and the air temperature at Heartland Park was quite warm on the first day of the event, but the track proved that it could hold a 6.61 for the low qualifier. Line and his Summit Racing teammate Anderson will be looking to close in on that number on the second day of the event. Line is currently No. 7 in the line-up.
 
“In a way, you would rather that the runs were lousy so that you could easily know what you needed to fix, but the truth is that they were nice runs, the graphs looked really good, they were just slow,” said Line. “We just need to find some speed, and that’s what we’ll be looking for tonight.”

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