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Trackside Update: Chevrolet Indy in Detroit Dual One Qualifying

5.31.13 – The IZOD IndyCar Series took to the streets of Belle Isle today for the sixth round of competition, which brings the racers to the IndyCar's first doubleheader weekend. Today’s schedule was filled with practice and a full qualifying session which determined the grid order for Saturday’s Dual One (green flag at 3:40 p.m. ET). The field of 25 drivers will again take to the street in the morning for a condensed qualifying that will determine Dual Two, scheduled to go green at 3:40 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Venezuelan Viso has matched his career-best start by qualifying for Dual One in the second position. E.J. will actually begin the first of two 70-lap races from first because of grid penalties due to engine changes (unofficial) that occurred at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this month. "Very excited," the 28-year-old said. "It will be my first pole start in IndyCar. I've been on pole in other car races, but being on pole in IndyCar is definitely one of my targets… my aims that I wanted to accomplish. And little by little, working with this group, things are starting to come together. I am very proud of all this hard work that we have been doing as a team, as a crew. I am very excited about this year."

Reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay advanced to the Firestone Fast Six today. While he qualified the DHL Chevy in the fifth position, he will roll off from fourth for the first race of the doubleheader weekend. Hunter-Reay said, "(Qualifying) was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it. With the rain, and the drying track…it keeps you nervous, it keeps you on your toes. You are always searching on every lap for that tenth of a second, which is a lot of fun in these cars. So that was cool. I just don't know where the speed went that last round because in the top 12 we were 80.2 (seconds) and then we only went two tenths quicker in the (Firestone) Fast Six; so we got to look at that. A little disappointed with it, but we are in the Fast Six. We are starting up front. So we should be able to go and have a good day."

Marco Andretti, the current championship points leader, recorded a 19th-place qualifying effort today, but will start from the 18th grid position after engine-change penalties are assigned to the field (unofficial). "I got sent out for qualifying with double the rear tire pressure that there was meant to be. It's extremely frustrating because the RC Cola Chevy was definitely good enough to advance once the problem was solved… but I only had time for one out lap — which almost advanced me but wasn't enough in the end. I will come back swinging tomorrow to try to score enough points to keep the (championship points) lead."

Canadian James Hinchcliffe will roll off from the 20th grid position for Dual One in Detroit. He qualified the GoDaddy Chevy in the 21st position but will advance one grid spot due to engine penalties to other competitors. Hinchcliffe is currently ranked fifth in the points standings. "The GoDaddy car felt really good — I just needed another lap," said the GoDaddy driver. "When you are in these conditions, you’re taking it cautious… but I couldn’t be too cautious  because I knew the circumstance and every lap you are going to find speed within yourself and the track is drying on top of that."

You can catch all the action from Detroit’s Belle Isle by tuning into ABC. Live coverage will be at 3:30 p.m. ET on both Saturday (Dual One broadcast) and Sunday (Dual Two broadcast). If you can't make it to the television, listen along with the broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, on SiriusXM (Channel 211) and IndyCar.com. Follow along on Twitter at @FollowAndretti, or using hashtag #DetroitGP.

 

 

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