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Hunter-Reay untroubled by poor qualifying

Championship contender Ryan Hunter-Reay has insisted that he is not worried about his poor starting grid position for Saturday night's IndyCar season finale in Fontana.
If Ryan Hunter-Reay was disappointed about his performance in qualifying on Friday afternoon - 17th fastest on the timesheets, putting him in 22nd spot on the starting grid for Saturday night's MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championship season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California - then he wasn't showing it.

"Today we didn't concentrate at all on qualifying," he explained. "We went out there kind of not knowing what we had. I was one of the first team cars, had a massive imbalance that [my team mates] learned from," he said. "All the Andretti cars have been trying different setups.

"That's the downside to going first [in qualifying]," he said. "I knew with the lift I had in qualifying it wasn't going to be a good one," he admitted.

As far as Hunter-Reay was concerned, qualifying performance and the starting grid position were largely irrelevant when it came to such a marathon race in any case.

"It's a 500-mile race," he said. "At the same time you don't want to be buried in traffic either ... It's always better to be up at the front. It's usually drama-free. We'll be looking to get up there as soon as possible."

More important in his eyes was the opportunity that the teams had on Friday evening to get out on track as dusk started to near, which is the same time of day that the race will start at.

He said that the plan was to "put that to use, shake it down, get a good feel for it, put it on track for tomorrow night. A good racecar around here is one that's well-balanced and stays under you over the long run, that's what we're looking for."

Hunter-Reay's rival for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series championship, Will Power, broadly agreed with that analysis.

"Honestly, the only thing that it's good for is to maybe be keeping out of if something happens. Apart from that, you can start a lap down, still come back and win the thing," said Power. "You can be a lap down halfway and still come back and win. So, yeah, it's not a big deal."

Both drivers emphasises just how changeable the conditions had proven to be in the heat of the Californian desert.

"It was very unpredictable," stressed Power. "Wind changes, the whole track changes. I had totally different balance to what I had all weekend. I got hard limiter both laps down the back straight on a bump."




Related Pictures

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Marco Andretti (#26) at Fontana. (c) 2012, Jamey Price. (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Penske`s Ryan Briscoe celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.(c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Will Power watches on from pit wall at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (c)2012, Jamey Price Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Ryan Hunter Reay.(c) 2012, Perry Nelson (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Will Power and Carlos Munoz flank winner Mike Conway during their victory lap (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz, Mike Conway and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz, Mike Conway and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates pole position in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads Sebastien Bourdais during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads James Hinchcliffe during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway (centre), driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory with champagne Sunday, April 13, 2014 after winning the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power on track (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay around the fountain turn during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)

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