Edmonton Indy Qualifying Report

edmontonRyan Hunter-Reay won his second career IndyCar pole position today at the Edmonton Indy. Hunter-Reay will earn the championship point for earning the pole, but is expected to start the race 11th after the team chose to change the Chevrolet engine in the No. 28 car. The official starting lineup will be released Sunday morning.

Hunter-Reay is attempting to win a fourth consecutive race this weekend – a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Sebastien Bourdais opened the 2006 Champ Car season with four straight victories. By winning three in succession, Hunter-Reay matched Dan Wheldon as the only Andretti Autosport drivers with a triple, and also matched his boss, team owner Michael Andretti, who won three straight races on his way to eight victories and a CART championship in 1991. Since 1990, only four drivers have won four consecutive races: Al Unser Jr. (1990), Alex Zanardi (1998), Cristiano da Matta (2002) and Bourdais (2006).

“It was a strange session – with going from the dry track to full wet and then to a drying track on (Firestone) Reds again – you really had to keep on your toes. The team gave me a great car. We really progressed this weekend. We started out to lunch yesterday morning, and to be on pole is a huge testament to the team. That session was white-knuckle, I tell you that much. You constantly had to be on edge and the line between getting a lap in and throwing it off track was very very small. So, we’re happy to get through it.

“I am really happy with that pole – we even saved a set of Firestone Reds for tomorrow. The track was constantly changing throughout the sessions (because of rain), and putting on a clear visor helped so I could see the wet spots. It was really hard to come to the decision to run on the used Red (tires) in the final round, but it was the right thing to do. We hadn’t been on a wet track all weekend so it was kind of a guess on what (racing) line to use. These cars have very little give in them – going over the bumps and when it is wet it is very tricky. It was great we picked up a championship point for the DHL/Dr Pepper team, but too bad we will be staring 11th instead of first because of the engine change. Tomorrow will be really interesting for everyone.”

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