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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)
Scott Dixon on course during qualifications for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 AAA.com Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races fastest to win the pole during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 AAA.com Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates winning the pole during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, finishes second fastest during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Power will start in the front row next to teammate Helio Castroneves who won the pole position. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finishes third fastest during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Pagenaud and Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Will Power had the fastest qualifying times. Castrovenes won the pole position. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden apexes the hairpin turn during qualifications for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates winning the pole Saturday, April 18, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach through the streets of Long Beach, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates winning the pole Saturday, April 18, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach through the streets of Long Beach, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest, winning the pole Saturday, April 18, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach through the streets of Long Beach, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power in action during practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Friday April 17 2015. (Photo by Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Friday April 17 2015. (Photo by Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Friday April 17 2015. (Photo by John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in his pit stand prior to practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Friday April 17 2015. (Photo by John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay enters Turn 10 during practice for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Friday April 17 2015. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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