After winning the pole for the Indianapolis 500, Alex Tagliani makes it two in a row as he won the PEAK Performance Award Pole Award for the Firstone Twin 275s on June 11th at Texas Motor Speedway.
“It’s a tribute to how much effort and how much love the guys put in the car,” he said. “I watched them work the last two weeks and they worked harder than when they brought the car to Indianapolis. That’s what a team does. We’re going to continue to work hard and bring fast cars to the track. Being fast on an oval is great, but I won’t be happy until I can stick it to Will (Power) and the Penske cars on a road course that’s my next goal.”
Tagliani qualified his No. 77 Bowers and Wilkins cars for Sam Schmidt Motorsports at a speed of 215.186mph.
Defending champion Dario Franchitti will start second (214.801), followed by Will Power.
“It was a good run out there Verizon car,” Power said. “I was flat and on the white line for both laps. We have some work to do tonight in practice to find a good race trim, but we should be good. We get two shots at it tomorrow and I’m definitely ready to race.”
Takumo Sato and Ed Carpenter rounded out the top five.
“It was fantastic, very exciting,” Sato said. “The car was balanced and really felt good. After morning practice we were confident that we could have a good qualifying and after watching TK’s (Tony Kanaan’s) run I was even more confident. Now we really need to concentrate on getting a good car for the race which is a very different car from qualifying.”
“It’s been a good day for the Dollar General team,” Carpenter said. “I feel good about our car. We seem to have good speed. I wasn’t sure where we were going to end up, but it seems like everyone ran quicker during qualifying than we did in practice. I’m happy with our qualifying effort, but I always want to be faster. Either way we have a good starting spot for tomorrow night, and I think we have something for them.”
Wade Cunningham qualified eighth in his IZOD IndyCar Series debut.
“We bolted new tires on and tried to adjust the balance a little bit,” he said. “Time is quite tight in the session, so we didn’t have time to do everything we wanted. So really for us going into qualifying was like a bit of the unknown. We have a teammate who is on pole, and we knew what they were doing. But again, we didn’t want to make any hiccups that would penalize ourselves by making mistakes. We didn’t go as far as Alex did in qualifying set-up. So there’s a little bit of speed there and, also, I made a little mistake on my gearing entering the green flag which cost us a bit of time as well.”
The Firestone Twin 275s consists of two 114-lap races back-to-back with the first one taking the green flag at 7:45pm CT on Saturday June 11th and the second race will follow an hour after the first race is completed.
The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 8 p.m. (ET) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, SiriusXM channel 94 and www.indycar.com. Live timing and scoring reports from the Firestone Twin 275s are available on the Internet at www.indycar.com.