Monday, June 28, 2010

West Coast Stock Car Hall Of Fame honors its seventh class on Friday

8,500 Oakland fans watched as Woody Brown flipped his Mercury stock car during the ARA 300-lap race on 7/27/52. Unhurt, Brown did some hurried repairs and returned to finish 10th, that's Fred Steinbroner in the #16. John Soares won the event. Caption & Image Credit: WCSCHOF website

West Coast Stock Car Hall Of Fame honors its seventh class, July 2nd

The people who will be inducted into the 2010 West Coast Stock Car Hall Of Fame, by tradition, come from two main categories - Historic Era (achievements that came prior to 1970), and Modern Era. This year will also see the addition of a new category - Career Contributor (for members of the media and public relations professionals of any era).

The West Coast Stock Car Hall Of Fame was founded in 2001 to memorialize significant contributions to the sport’s development and history. Inductees are drawn from people who have served in its many disciplines including designers, engineers, mechanics, drivers, race track owners, promoters, and most recently, publicists and members of the motorsports media.

Yakima Speedway - Yakima, Washington in June, 1961 Image Credit: WCSCHOF website

The twelve motorsports figures from historic and modern eras that will be recognized Friday (July 2, 2010) when the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inducts its seventh class at Azusa Greens Country Club in Azusa, Calif are as follows:

Historic Era (6 inductees) - Driver Bob Caswell of Walnut Creek, Calif., Car Owners Bill “Tiny” Clinton of Los Angeles/Joe Mangini Jr. of Walnut Creek, Calif., Crew Chief Herb Nab, Tire Provider/Specialist Duane Edwards of Southgate, Calif. and Starter/Race Chief Steward Mel Fernandes of San Leandro, Calif.

All of the above awards will be honored posthumously.

Modern Era (4 inductees) - Driver Mike Chase of Redding, Calif., Car Owner Allen Beebe of Modesto, Calif., Car Owner Rod Osterlund of Plumas County in Northeast California, and James “Jimmy” Smith of Newport Beach, Calif

Career Contributor (2 inductees) - The late Gordon Martin, long-standing motorsports writer and columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and Mel Larson, longtime spokesman for the sport of stock car racing.

Turn #11 (?), Laguna Seca Raceway (now, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca) near Monterey, California. Image Credit: WCSCHOF website

The ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. (PDT) and this seventh class will bring the total number of inductees in the West Coast Stock Car Hall Of Fame to 93.

... notes from The EDJE

Sunday, June 13, 2010

24 Hours of Le Mans 2010: Saleen notches first ever win at last ever event

Jack Leconte’s Larbre Competition - Saleen S7R driven by Gabriele Gardel, Roland Berville, & Julien Canal for the 78th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Image Credit: antsphoto

24 Hours of Le Mans 2010: Saleen notches first ever win at last ever event


A Saleen S7R wins the last LMGT1 classification race to be held at the 24 hours of Le Mans. In its 78 year history, a Saleen car has never won at Le Mans ... until today, when the Jack Leconte’s Larbre Competition - Saleen S7R driven by Gabriele Gardel (Roland Berville, & Julien Canal co-drivers) crossed the finish line in P1 at the end of the 24th hour. The Saleen is the only car racing at Le Mans that is not racing in the FIA GT1 World Championship.

In winning the LMGT1 Class, the #50 Larbre Competition Saleen S7R completed 331 LAPS, 2ND was the #72 Luc Alphand Adventures Corvette C6,R with 327 LAPS, and 3RD was the #52 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin with 311 LAPS. This will be the last year the LMGT1 Class will be run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in order to align the 24 Hours of Le Mans format with the ALMS and the classification formats they have adopted. This is a good move for Le Mans because this will allow more competitive teams from across the "pond" to be able to enter into this hallmark motorsports race event.

The 78th running of the 24 hours of Le Mans was a race that saw many firsts but chief among them was that a new overall distance record had been set when the #9 Audi Sport North America - Audi R15 TDI diesel-powered car crossed the finish line, with Timo Bernhard driving, completing 392 laps. Timo led a event podium sweep of Audi R15 TDI's in a surprise ending when the faster paced group of Team Peugeot Total - Peugeot 908 HDi - FAP diesel-powered cars that had qualified in the first three positions (also at Le Mans setting record speeds) to start the race (with a fourth one from Team Oreca Matmut in P4) ... and pulled away with one of the cars having over a lap lead on the Audi cars, at one point, had to retire and never completed the race.

It is Audi's 9th overall 24 Hours of Le Mans win, equaling the total notched by Ferrari ... both manufacturers are in second place in wins behind Porsche who have 16 overall wins.

What this 78th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans shows is that in the end it is endurance and perseverance that carries the day. Hats off to all the winners in class beginning with LMP1: #9 Audi Sport North America - Audi R15 TDI | LMP2: #42 Straka Racing - HPD ARX.01 | LMGT1: #50 Larbre Competition - Saleen S7R | LMGT2: #77 Team Felbemayr Proton - Porsche 997 GT3 RSR | Michelin Green X (completing the most laps on the least amount of fuel): #42 Straka Racing - HPD ARX.01.

... notes from The EDJE

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Surprise Swift Tour Yields A Look At "Concept 66" / Updated With "Concept 70"

Swift Engineering's 2012 IZOD IndyCar design concept 66 CAD image with California Speedway background. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

Surprise Swift Tour Yields A Look At "Concept 66" Platform
(originally posted 4/16/10 - 1:28 PM)

If the folks at the IZOD IndyCar Series are thinking with a level head, given what we, at The EDJE, were exposed to at a surprise tour of the Swift Engineering facility in San Clemente, they will soon be singing "We get our kicks settling on Concept 66" as their way of the future of open-wheel racing.

Swift Engineering's 2012 IZOD IndyCar design concept 66 artist rendering. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

We were invited by the Publisher of The Motorsports Report, Dicken Wear, as an impromptu field trip after checking in at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Credentials area to pick up our Photo Vests for this weekends event. What a bonus since the major motorsports events of the day would be background shots taken while the IRL, ALMS, World Cup Challenge, and Firestone IndyPro Series cars practiced so the teams could dial in for the races ahead.

Swift Engineering's 2012 IZOD IndyCar design concept 66 CAD image without background. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

A group of about 20 people (writers, drivers, engineers, and photographers) gathered and were treated to a tour of the facilities at Swift that included a look and demonstration of their on-premises 140 mph wind tunnel, driving simulator, and composite fabrication areas. We were led on the tour by Program Director, Casper Van Der Schoot originally from Holland by way of Hogan Racing.

Casper enlightened the eager crowd with the concept of designing to reduce the effects of the vortex "dirty air" so that the platforms could race nose to tail with greater safety and, of course, greater competitiveness. The design concept of how to do this came in the development of a rear wing and forward rear wheel pod shapes that turn the Concept 66 into a "Mushroom Buster"!



One can not totally eliminate the shroom effect, but by shrinking the width of the shroom plume, and raising the "cap" of the shroom so that it is moved away from the following platform ... the mushroom is effectively busted.

UPDATE: Swift Concept #70 proposal for the next IZOD IndyCar


The IZOD IndyCar ICONIC Committee earlier this week, received a presentation previewing Swift's concept #70. The #70 is the latest evolution open-wheel car concept and incorporates aspects of the six previously launched concepts Swift has designed over the past nine months.

Swift Engineering's Design Concept #70 placed into a Long Beach Grand Prix track background. Image Credit: Swift Engineering via Racer

“Our latest concept evolves elements from our previous concepts and from the direct feedback we have received from the series, teams and fans,” said Casper van der Schoot, Swift's Program Director in an interview published in Racer. “I would like to thank the fans who have provided great feedback to us through our Facebook page and in particular Erik Berkman and Dave Marek from Honda for sharing with us their data and modeling for their next generation V6 powerplant as well as their chassis styling concept that weighed heavily in our design.”

The main thing that Swift was able to design in and keep in the #70 was a nose-to-tail racing safety and competition design concept known as "The Mushroom Buster" explained in the breakthrough design first introduced with Design Concept #66 above.

The 70 has increased signage real estate, as demanded by the teams,” said Mark Page, Swift's Chief Scientist to Racer. “We enlarged the car's bodywork and angled the surfaces so that they present the best view to the fans. We also have a new 'Mushroom Buster; design. This promotes passing by busting the 'mushroom cloud' of dead air behind the racecar. Our number 70 model was run through extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics on our new Cray supercomputers. The Cray has increased our capability 50-fold, and we now know our car will have significantly less drag than the current car.”

“The monocoque is larger than the current spec,” stated Chris Norris, Swift's chief designer in the same Racer interview. “It is designed to accommodate driver size from Danica [Patrick] to Justin [Wilson] with added padding beneath and behind the driver. In addition we have added anti-wheel lock blades dubbed, ‘Satan's teeth' aft of the front wheels, attached to the front of the sidepods. Also an anti-lift approach to the design of the front wings and sidepods will dramatically reduce the likelihood of the car getting airborne.”

The IZOD IndyCar series is reviewing Swift's and four other manufacturer's value propositions and is expected to make its decision for the next generation IndyCar for 2012 by June 30.

We, at The EDJE have one question (actually two), does the "Lawn Dart" (Delta Wing) closed-wheel design have any of these considerations built in to their design(?), and if the Delta Wing could deliver what Swift Engineering has proposed ... will fans of open-wheel racing ever accept a car that by design definition - isn't even open-wheel?

We are holding our breath ...

... notes from The EDJE

Saturday, June 5, 2010

IZOD IndyCar Series Firestone 550 Texas Tweet

Danica Patrick has plans of her own for the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2010)

IZOD IndyCar Series Firestone 550 Texas Tweet

Andretti Autosport’s Danica Patrick paced a track-record four female drivers Friday by qualifying eighth for the Firestone 550k IZOD IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Patrick (No. 7 GoDaddy.com Dallara Honda) posted a four-lap aggregate time of 1 minute, 37.8619 seconds for an average speed of 214.273 miles per hour to lead the female contingent in the 26-driver field. It also marked Patrick’s season-best qualifying performance, topping a ninth at Kansas.

Sarah Fisher (No. 67 Dollar General/Sarah Fisher Racing Dallara Honda) was next, qualifying 16th. Milka Duno (No. 18 CITGO Dallara Honda) followed directly behind Fisher as she qualified a season-best 17th. It easily topped her previous best of 24th on four occasions.

Rookie Simona De Silvestro (No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds HVM Dallara Honda), the top rookie at last week’s Indianapolis 500, struggled on the high-banked, 1.5-mile oval as she qualified a season-worst 26th.

The previous record for most females competing in an IZOD IndyCar Series event at Texas Motor Speedway was three on two occasions. Patrick, Fisher and Duno competed together at TMS for the Firestone 550k in 2007 and again last year.
(ht: TMS)

Additional Qualifying Notes>>

The following entries are "Tweets" (140 character or less postings) taken from a Twitter feed during the seventh race of the IZOD IndyCar Series - The Firestone 550 held at Texas Motor Speedway ... a web assisted live blogging effort of sorts.

indy44
Ready to rock and roll. Let's see a safe fast race. Talking racing with ticket winners. Cell service bad so probably won't have many updates


FastMachines
RT @DiecastDude: "The race will be much different than Indianapolis..." Hopefully with, like, lead battles & passes and stuff. #izodindycar

pressdog Let's light this friggin candle.

MarcoZone They only breathe on the straights...wow...#IndyCar

TheSpeedgeek Any punchlines for the "Row __, hot!" thing tonight? I got nothing.

TeamIndyChat ☺♫♪ i am INDY! ♪♫☺

228 Laps of racing and the 26 car field will get ready to go racing!

TheEDJE GREEN, GREEN, GRE - OOPS - Briscoe Jumps

TheSpeedgeek Send Briscoe to the back. That was egregious.

GREEN, GREEN, GREEN - The Checkered Flag Waves

deferrandragon 3 shower day has turned into nice night in Texas

SpeedFreaks And IndyCar is green... and 4 wide in Texas! Yowza!

VersusIndyCar We are green flag, and there is tons of side by side! Top three are Briscoe, Franchitti, and DIxon #IZODIndyCar

IndyCarPR Lap 5: #6 Briscoe leads #10 Franchitti by .1535 of a seconds. Wheldon has moved to 10th after starting 15th.

deferrandragon Rafa up 3 spots to 20

CrashGladys LOVE these side by side camera views... Marco and Briscoe there... wow! #indycar

FastMachines Dan Wheldon has moved up from 15th to 6th - Marco trying to move into the top 5, too. #indycar #texasindy

IndyCarNation Jack educating @VersusTV fans in the #IZOD Performance Pit. Great race in Texas! http://ow.ly/i/1VJy

FastMachines Heh, heh! RT @formula1blog: WTH? Jack Arute is officially the same color as a football. Dude! Back off the Loreal tanning gel!

CrashGladys Sooo not fair for @jayhoward66 ... his luck this year has just plain sucked! #indycar

Jay Howard pulls into the pits!

kvracing After 20 laps, Viso moves to 9th (up 5places), Moraes 13th, Sato 15th

deferrandragon Rafa and hunter-reay going back and forth.

IndyCarNation Lap 25: #6 Briscoe leads #10 Franchitti by .3297 of a second.

Will Power gets by Dixon (bumped wheels) for P3 - Needs to get by Dario to keep points from being gained on him.

99forever Well, no point in staying glued to Race Control video.. leader-cam only sucks. Glad to have IMS Radio at least

Dario gets passed by Will Power on LAP 34

deferrandragon Nice little breeze here but as much as we sweat this afternoon you don't want be on the downwind side of me

IndyCarNation Lap 35: #6 Briscoe leads #12 Power by 1.5764 seconds. @danicapatrick is now fifth.

kvracing
After 38 laps, Viso moves to 8th (up 6places), Moraes 12th, Sato 18th


catchfence Sarah Fisher Racing On Track Deep in the Heart of Texas http://bit.ly/9iax93

CrashGladys Wow, Justin is in early... anyone have an answer as to why he was losing so much speed?? #indycar

IndyCarNation Lap 40: #6 Briscoe leads #12 Power by 1.9746 seconds. #22 Wilson on pit lane for four tires and fuel.

YELLOW Flag for debris on LAP 46 - Pit Stops for everyone! Franchitti out early, Briscoe slow, Alex Lloyd drops from P5 to the back of lead lap field to P21,

paultracy3 Danica is flying

TheEDJE LAP 50 - Franchitti, Power, Patrick, Dixon, and Briscoe are top 5 after pit stops

GREEN, GREEN, GREEN - The Checkered Flag Waves LAP 52

kvracing After pit stop, Viso rejoins field 9th, Moraes 11th & Sato 19th

Danica Patrick goes side-by-side with Will Power for P2 - doesn't make it

Takuma Sato hits the wall and brings out a YELLOW Flag

kvracing Lap 56, yellow flag for Takuma Sato. Contact with wall in turn 2

pressdog Plus, if @danicapatrick wins at TX it will drive the haters INSANE and I am always in favor of that.

kvracing Lap 60, Viso #8 PDVSA-KVRT car is 10th & Moraes #32 KVRT car is 13th. Still yellow flag

GREEN, GREEN, GREEN - The Checkered Flag Waves LAP 65

toomuchracing Sato on TV, confirms something broke on the car.

deferrandragon Rafa getting some airtime on versus. Biggest mover of the race thus far, up 12 spots

Cars are running a blistering pace after the restart - Franchitti - 212.8, Power - 214.0, Briscoe - 214.5 for top 3 positions

kvracing Lap 73, Viso is 9th & Moraes is 20th

deferrandragon Rafa chasing helio now

IndyCarPR Medical update from Dr. Geoffrey Billows, IRL medical official: Takuma Sato has been checked and released from the care center.

deferrandragon Some side by side action with Marco

IndyCarNation Lap 80: #10 Franchitti leads #12 Power by .1876 of a second

Briscoe and Power go side-by-side for P2

deferrandragon A lot of close racing up front.like 2 fat guys in a phone booth

IndyCarNation Lap 90: #10 Franchitti leads #12 Power by .2533 of a second. And @txmotorspeedway just opened the world famous "Nacho Bar."

paultracy3 I like how Danica is driving tonite

Danica Patrick's GoDaddy! car seems to running a little slower - handling might be going off!

YELLOW Flag - Simona De Slivestro slamms the wal and the car is engulfed in an oil fire!!!

SpeedFreaks Crap... deSilvestro just crashed in the #indycar

Simona De Silvestro walks under her own power to the medical truck ... seems OK [CTRL-CLICK image link to launch YouTube of accident and fire]. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2010)


99forever Davey on IMS Radio excusing safety team because "we don't have fires" and they don't get much practice. Pardon my French: BULLSHIT.

MarcoZone That's gonna be a BIG clean-up

After first pit stop problems (P5 to P21) ... Alex Lloyd has climbed back up to P12 from P21

IndyCarPR Top 10 rundown: 10, 12, 6, 9, 7, 11, 8, 4, 24, 3

PippaMann OMG! Why did it take so long to get the fire extinguishers on her...?!?! Hope @simdesilvestro is okay and no serious burns...

pressdogNew car needs to be easier to get out quickly. This one is too tough. Kanaan had to struggle to get out as well.

TheEDJE @pressdog The new "LAWN DART" won't cut it - too dangerous and weird

deferrandragon Dario, briscoe and Dixon lead. Danica 4

TheEDJE Will Power in the pits for debris removal - patch to the under tray - out to the back of the line

GREEN, GREEN, GREEN - LAP 113

Patrick battling for P3 with Dixon

HVMracing Still awaiting medical center update on De Silvestro

chunter16 I'm glad the current car's fires are visible. Hope all involved are okay. Has someone found a way to pull a cord and fill the car with foam?

paultracy3 Fire first then the driver . I don't know what that guy was doing with the hose , it's a good thing the big guy jumped to get her

Alex Lloyd up to P10 on LAP121

PippaMann That was a nasty chop across one of her team-mates. Was not a fan of that Danica moment...

TheEDJE Alex Lloyd up to P8 on LAP 127 - push-to-pass is getting a workout - Go BSA!

CRASH - CCWS KV Racing's Mario Moraes clobbers Penske's Helio Castroneves at LAP 129 - CCWS Conquest Racing's Bertrand Baguette get a bunch of debris and stops in the pits - OUT

IndyCarPR Lap 129: YELLOW. Multicar accident on the frontstretch. Cars involved are #3 Castroneves, #32 Moraes and #36 Baguette.

HVMracing While suffering some burns Simona is okay.. burns to hand

99forever And up goes the repair bill for @kvracing for the second time. Anyone got stats on how many cars have actually completed a race this year?

deferrandragon Helio just went helmet to helmet with moraes. Wow

Pitstops all the way around

MarcoZone And now Marco is p16 after that fubar in the pits...what's up with the fuggly stops tonight?

gassracing Agreed RT @pressdog: Thank God that one dude just dove in there and started yanking on her while everyone dicked (cont) http://tl.gd/1mqkbe

pressdog Yeah, some kind of one button quick rease thing. Slap it and you're out.

GREEN, GREEN, GREEN - Restart LAP 138

IndyCarPR Lap 138: GREEN. #77 Tagliani leads the field into Turn 1.

Will Power in P2 slams the door on Ryan Briscoe who tries for position - now back side-by-side and Briscoe has company with Dixon and Patrick

deferrandragon Gil wants Rafa to cover his inside

TheSpeedgeek Holy smokes, Milka is out! Did we ever hear the TV guys mention her? Has anybody Tweeted about her yet? I WIN!

paultracy3 Danica is bringing it mad hard like a jail yard :-)

deferrandragon 77 laps left Rafa now 12

TheEDJE Alex Lloyd's Dale Coyne Racing car is working very well - back up to P6 on LAP 159

3 WIDE for P6 with Viso Lloyd and Andretti - Viso ahead

pressdog @sarahfisher67 got her lap back and has the wings back. Fly Sarah.

deferrandragon Tighter than a rockstars leather pants

Alex Tagliani comes into the pits - stalls - Will Power in the lead of the race - Fueler fell to the ground

Will Power in the pits on LAP 170 - Briscoe to P1 with Patrick chasing

IndyCarNation Lap 170: #12 Power on pit lane for four tires and fuel. New leader is #6 Briscoe.

Tagliani serves a drive through penalty for Fueler knockdown

paultracy3 Alot of dumd mistakes in the pit lane tonite

TheEDJE @paultracy3 Tweeting is tougher than it appears!

MarcoZone Marco up to P4!!! Way to climb...yet know one has said anything!

TheSpeedgeek I would like to say that IndyCar is the Miracle Whip to NASCAR's mayo. I am not mayo.

Briscoe and Patrick dicing up front just before pitstops - Briscoe has 9 PtP and Patrick has only 6 PtP left

CrashGladys Sooooo, we got mad at Danica for pushing her team under the bus at Indy... and Mario Moraes just blamed his spotter for this crash! Ugh!

MarcoZone MA in for final time.

kvracing After 175 laps, Viso in the #8 PDVSA - KVRT car is running 5th.

IndyCarPR Green flag stops complete Your leader at Texas Motor Speedway is @danicapatrick

LAP 193 - DANICA takes the lead over Briscoe after pitstops - Briscoe and Patrick SbS on a heavy battle. Briscoe takes the position back.

RogerYasukawa @DanicaPatrick looking racy tonight! We need another yellow to make this more interesting.

MarcoZone Marco in 4th after the pit shake down.

99forever WHY AM I WATCHING POWER AND ANDRETTI?! Let me see the battle for the lead, Race Control!! #IZODIndyCar

SpeedFreaks Now THAT's the kind of exposure GoDaddy has wanted! Nice side by side for the lead action there!!! #indycar

LAP 201 - Briscoe, Patrick, Power (needs help with yellows), Andretti, Dixon, Franchitti, Kanaan, Hunter-Reay, Viso, Lloyd are the top 10 for the final 27 laps

toomuchracing There are 20 to go with a 20-sec lap and you're taking an ad break now, despite only just taking one. I thought these guys were better?

BeccyGordon @RyanHunterReay has the fastest lap of the race 215.685... But still has too much push in traffic. He's racing his butt off! So proud.

deferrandragon Briscoe with decent lead over danica

HugoScheckter For some reason I really want danica to win this! Hopefully that phase will pass soon!

TEN LAPS TO GO - Danica has her work cut out for her

IndyCarPR 10 laps to go here at Texas: Briscoe leads by 1.1 seconds.

Will Power will have to come in for a splash

kvracing 4laps remain, Viso is 12th

99forever I'll tell you one thing: Having Danica up front sure has a lot of people caring a whole lot about what's happening up front. #IZODIndyCar

WHITE Flag lap -

CHECKERS Fly - Briscoe wins, Patrick, Dario Franchitti comes in at P6 and and with Will Power coming in at P14 ... takes over the overall season points lead from Will Power by 3 points.

TheEDJE Andretti Autosport has all four cars in the top seven position - WOW!

indy44 Woo Marco couldn't get out of the media center fast enough. It looked cold in there with him and Danica.

Formal Report from IZOD IndyCar Here>>

... notes from The EDJE

CCWS Transition Players Have Effect On Texas Qualifying

IndyCar Series 2010 points leader, Will Power - Penske Racing/Verizon, struggles to maintain the points lead through the "Ovals" section of the first half of the ICS championship season. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2010)

CCWS Transition Players Have Effect On Texas Qualifying

We have hardly caught our collective breaths from the interesting, mistake prone, and Yellow Flag shaped 94th running of the Indianapolis 500 and we are already getting notices about the qualifications being held for the Firestone 550 race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Target Chip Ganassi's Dario Franchitti, the winner of last weeks classic, got aced out by the short oval expert from Penske Racing, Ryan Briscoe who has five P1 finishes on 1.5 mile ovals. What becomes surprising about how the rest of the top five positions in the qualifying field are two notable performances ... notable in that they show the increased participation from drivers and teams that are in the IRL because of the merger with the ChampCar World Series two seasons ago.

The driver stand out is, of course, Will Power who is driving for the top notch IRL Penske Racing team and leads in the points, by eleven points over Dario Franchitti, for the 2010 IndyCar Series season so far. Lining up in P3 shows that he likes the banks of Texas Motor Speedway. If Power can stay ahead of Dario, Dario's teammate Scott Dixon (who qualified at P4 and is -24 points), and Will's teammate Helio Castroneves (starts the race at P5 and is sitting at -28 in the ICS championship) he may just come away from the Firestone 550 with only one more oval to go in Iowa, before getting back to the road and street courses that are his strong suit, with the points lead.

The CCWS transition team surprise standout is the entry driven by Alex Lloyd who was able to place his Dale Coyne Racing Dallara on the grid at P6! Dale Coyne continues to advance within the structure provided by the IZOD IndyCar Series. Last year with Justin Wilson driving (who now races for Dreyer % Reinbold Racing), Dale Coyne Racing won its first race in American open-wheel racing after competing in ChampCar/Cart and the IRL since 1986 ... that's 558 tries – after more than 25 years of trying – in top tier open-wheel racing. Alex Lloyd, by placing a Dale Coyne car on the grid at P6 on an oval racing track, has been able to move the team's success forward here in 2010.

Newman/Haas Racing was able to field a Dallara good enough to get Hideki Mutoh in the grid at P7 leaving Mario Moreas of KV Racing Technologies as the last CCWS Team or driver (in this case both) to break into the top 10 on the banked short oval track at Texas that had a very tight and competitive field - the top five qualifiers were separated by only 0.3912 of a second and the top 10 by 0.6777 of a second.

Alex Lloyd in the Boy Scouts of America/Dale Coyne Racing Dallara during Day 4 practice day at IMS. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2010)

This excerpted and edited from Catchfence -

Briscoe Scores Pole for Firestone 550k at Texas
Press Release - IZOD IndyCar

Two of Ryan Briscoe’s five IZOD IndyCar Series victories have been secured on 1.5-mile ovals.

He’ll start from the pole in seeking a third. Briscoe, driving the No. 6 Team Penske car, recorded a four-lap average speed of 215.273 mph (1 minute, 37.3275 seconds) to earn the PEAK Performance Pole Award for the Firestone 550K at Texas Motor Speedway.

Dario Franchitti, seeking to be the third consecutive Indianapolis 500 champion to win at Texas in the same year, was 0.0057 of a second off Briscoe’s pace. He’ll start on the outside of the front row for the 228-lap race under the lights after an average of 215.261 mph.
----
Briscoe earned the 10th pole start of his career (second of the season), and has converted one into victory (2009 Chicagoland Speedway).
Reference Here>>

How they Qualified For The 2010 Firestone 550 At Texas Motor Speedway - Race #7 of 17
(** denotes a driver or team with CCWS transition affiliation)

Pos - Driver - Team - Speed
1. Ryan Briscoe - Penske 215.273mph
2. Dario Franchitti - Ganassi 215.261mph
3. Will Power** - Penske 215.158mph
4. Scott Dixon - Ganassi 215.152mph
5. Helio Castroneves - Penske 214.411mph
6. Alex Lloyd -Dale Coyne** 214.408mph
7. Hideki Mutoh - Newman/Haas** 214.380mph
8. Danica Patrick - Andretti 214.098mph
9. Mario Moraes** - KV** 213.800mph
10. Marco Andretti - Andretti 213.785mph
11. Takuma Sato - KV** 213.692mph
12. Justin Wilson** - Dreyer & Reinbold 213.602mph
13. Tony Kanaan - Andretti 213.346mph
14. EJ Viso** - KV** 213.336mph
15. Dan Wheldon - Panther 213.316mph
16. Sarah Fisher - Sarah Fisher 213.256mph
17. Milka Duno - Dale Coyne** 213.222mph
18. Tomas Scheckter - Dreyer & Reinbold 212.904mph
19. Vitor Meira - Foyt 212.805mph
20. Alex Tagliani** - Fazzt 212.526mph
21. Jay Howard - Sarah Fisher 212.448mph
22. Bertrand Baguette - Conquest** 212.349mph
23. Raphael Matos** - De Ferran Dragon 212.327mph
24. Ryan Hunter-Reay - Andretti 212.298mph
25. Mario Romancini - Conquest** 212.101mph
26. Simona de Silvestro** - HVM** 211.289mph
(ht: autosport.com)

This very fast banked bull-ring of a venue will have these open-wheel Dallara's running side-by-side at over 200 miles per hour throughout the whole race and will probably end with a less than a second seperation ... Photo Finish!

The Firestone 550 is set to be broadcast live at IndyCar Series on VERSUS - Watch the Texas Motor Speedway Race. Saturday June 5 - 8:00PM est - Versus.com

... notes from The EDJE