The Grid Is Set For Saturday’s Race

One by one, the cars went out to tame the 1.25 egg-shaped oval that is Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois. As each car went out, the temperature continued to drop, making the conditions better and better for each car. I’m not sure if it is due to the fact that he was the last car to qualify, or if he simply had the fastest car – but Will Power is your pole-sitter for tomorrow night’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500.

It may be a combination of both, since Power led the afternoon practice as well. But Power laid down a blistering two-lap average of 189.642. What is even more shocking about that is that the front-row speed of his teammate, Josef Newgarden, was over a mile and a half per hour. Newgarden’s lap of 188.316 looked like it would be tough to beat, until Power brushed it and Newgarden aside to the outside of Row One.

Their two Penske teammates, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud, fill out Row Two respectively. Then another Chevy driven by Ed Carpenter, qualified fifth. Takuma Sato was the fastest Honda and will start on the outside of Row Three.

Drivers that walked away from their qualifying runs with frustration on their faces were Graham Rahal who will start thirteenth and Ryan Hunter-Reay who will roll off in fourteenth. Tony Kanaan will start seventeenth and Marco Andretti continues to have poor qualifying runs and will start twentieth.

Susan finally made it to the track and got to the pits just as qualifying started. She and I were able to get some good photos during the qualifying session at the bottom of this post. You’ll notice the sun was still glaring in some of these shots, but it continued to get darker as the session wore on. Pay particular attention to the shot of Charlie Kimball checking lap times of his competitors on his Verizon App as he sits and waits for his turn in his car.

That will do it for us tonight. There is one more practice tonight from 9:00 until 10:00 (local time). We are going to stay and watch it,  but unless something significant happens – I won’t post anything else tonight.

We will get to the track sometime around noon tomorrow, but with no track activity until much later – I’m really not sure what our agenda holds. We may actually go across the river into St. Louis proper and be tourists. But whenever we get here, I’ll put up a post. In the meantime, please follow both of us on Twitter. You may follow me at @Oilpressureblog or Susan at @MrsOilpressure for photos and comments.

Enjoy the photos and check back tomorrow.

George Phillips











Power Press

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