Oak Park Journal Sports

Dan Peters Sports Editor
Oak Park Journal
 September 10, 2005

Danica Patrick earns her third pole of 2005
© Oak Park Journal photo by Joe Paolella

It's Ladies Day in Chicagoland..Patrick and McCune
Sweep Poles In Joliet

by Dan Peters
Oak Park Journal

JOLIET, Ill., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2005  Danica Patrick and Sarah McCune will start from the pole positions Sunday in the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean, and the Chicagoland 100, respectively, as the two women swept qualifying at Chicagoland Speedway.

IRL IndyCarSeries rookie Patrick earned her third career pole position this year, tying Tomas Scheckter for most poles by a rookie in a season. All of Patricks poles have come on 1.5-mile oval speedways. She also earned the poles this year at the Kansas Speedway in July and at Kentucky Speedway in August. Sunday may be her best chance to win her first career IRL race. Patrick struggled earlier in the day during parctice sessions, but had the speed when it counted.... and some luck...

Patrick went out fourth in the qualifying, lapped the oval in 25.3369 seconds, 215.970 mph then watched and waited as 19 other cars attempted to beat her.
"We made a lot of progress from practice this morning. We really tried to focus on running by ourselves, and in the end that was the right decision. It feels great to win to win the pole in Chicago in front of all my friends and family. Three poles in a season is a great accomplishment for any driver. Im proud that I was able to do it in my rookie year. Since this ties the rookie pole record, you can bet I'll be shooting for my fourth pole."

Ryan Briscoe, the last driver to qualify, bettered Patricks time by 0.1358 of a
second, but the times of his car, and the cars of his Target Chip Ganassi Racing
teammates Scott Dixon and Jaques Lazier were disallowed after IRL officials
found the post-qualifying technical infractions. All three were moved to the
back of the starting grid.

Patricks teammate, 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, will start second.

Scheckter and Sam Hornish Jr. will start in the second row, while series point
leader Dan Wheldon will start fifth. With some luck, its mathematically possible for Wheldon to clinch the IRL Championship Sunday with only 2 races left.
Qualifying Saturday for the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean IRL IndyCar Series event on the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway, with
starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and speed: 

1. (16) Danica Patrick, Panoz-Honda, 215.970
2. (15) Buddy Rice, Panoz-Honda, 215.799
3. (4) Tomas Scheckter, Dallara-Chevrolet, 215.731
4. (6) Sam Hornish Jr., Dallara-Toyota, 215.717
5. (26) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 215.484
6. (7) Bryan Herta, Dallara-Honda, 215.464
7. (95) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Chevrolet, 215.424
8. (2) Tomas Enge, Dallara-Chevrolet, 215.113
9. (8) Scott Sharp, Panoz-Honda, 215.101
10. (27) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 215.067
11. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Toyota, 214.982
12. (55) Kosuke Matsuura, Panoz-Honda, 214.481
13. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 214.402
14. (14) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Chevrolet, 213.898
15. (24) Roger Yasukawa, Dallara-Honda, 212.720
16. (83) Patrick Crpentier, Dallara-Toyota, 212.401
17. (91) Jimmy Kite, Dallara-Toyota, 212.031
18. (51) Alex Barron, Dallara-Toyota, 211.190
19. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Toyota, 210.818
20. (17) Vitor Meira, Panoz-Honda, no speed
21. (10) Jaques Lazier, Panoz-Toyota, no speed
22. (9) Scott Dixon, Panoz-Toyota, no speed
23. (33) Ryan Briscoe, Panoz-Toyota, no speed

Sarah McCune Wins the Pole Position for the Pro Series.
© Oak Park Journal photo by Joe Paolella

Rookie  Sarah McCune becomes the first woman to win a
pole position in the
IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series

Making her series debut at Chcagoland for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, McCune lapped the field in 29.1382 seconds, 187.795 mph.,  joins Marco Andretti, A.J. Foyt IV, Travis Gregg and Thiago Medeiros as the only drivers to win the pole position in their first Menards Infiniti Pro Series start.

"I'll just be concentrating on my own line and running my own race. I won't be thinking about anybody else, I'll just be doing my job. I always have really high goals for myself, so it's kind of what I expected, but I'm still really happy. I was nervous a little bit about the track, the different type of rubber on the track. The car was sliding a little bit. I had a little bit of an understeer, so I didn't know how good my time was going to be, but I'm excited that it held. During her qualifyin run, she hit a bird..... "I wasn't thinking about the bird at all. I was just focusing
on my qualifying run and getting the best time I could. "said McCune

Sarah McCune waiting for the start of the Pro Series race.
© Oak Park Journal photo by Dan Peters

Travis Gregg, also in a  Sam Schmidt Motorsports car & teammate of McCune, will start second. Vision Racing teammates Jay Drake and Nick Bussell will start third and fourth, respectively. Series point leader Wade Cunningham will start fifth on Sunday
Qualifying Saturday for the Chicagoland 100 IRL Menards Infiniti
Pro Series event on the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway, with starting position,
car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and speed: 

1. (8) Sarah McCune, Dallara-Infiniti, 187.795
2. (7) Travis Gregg, Dallara-Infiniti, 186.770
3. (20) Jay Drake, Dallara-Infiniti, 185.913
4. (9) Nick Bussell, Dallara-Infiniti, 185.321
5. (33) Wade Cunningham, Dallara-Infiniti, 185.187
6. (1) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Infiniti, 185.081
7. (24) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Infiniti, 184.969
8. (19) Chris Festa, Dallara-Infiniti, 184.603
9. (6) Jon Herb, Dallara-Infiniti, 184.296
10. (4) Marty Roth, Dallara-Infiniti, 184.216
11. (3) Bobby Wilson, Dallara-Infiniti, 184.152
12. (11) Scott Mayer, Dallara-Infiniti, no speed



Oak Park Journal Car Racing News and Reports

Local Car Race Tracks

Chicagoland Speedway and
Route 66 Speedway          Joliet, Illinois

Indy Racing at the Brickyard 
in Indianapolis, Indiana

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Michigan International Speedway

Brickyard at Indy

Chicago Motor Speedway Cicero, Illinois