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Hunter-Reay untroubled by poor qualifying

"This track has been changing every session, every lap," agreed Hunter-Reay. "With the heat today, we didn't have that yesterday, I mean, this is like Vegas heat. It's just constantly changing.

"It's definitely going to change and throughout the night the track will change as well, I've got a good feeling for where I want to run on the track during the race" he added. "What worked for me in Iowa I think could work here as well, so hopefully we'll use that," he added, recalling one of his three oval victories so far in 2012.

With Power and Hunter-Reay failing to set the fastest time of qualifying even before their ten place grid penalties were applied, neither gains the advantage of the extra championship points for pole position.

Instead, it's Marco Andretti who after a four year gap since his first at Milwaukee in 2008, finally picked up his second series pole position by just 0.011mph (0.0032s) ahead of Ryan Briscoe .

"I've been on the outside looking in on that hundredth of a mile an hour for the pole, I was on the good side of that today," said the delighted Andretti Autosport driver. "I had my mind made up that I was going flat - whatever was going to happen was going to happen.

"If I do a lazy lift, we're not going to have a chance for the pole," he said of his thoughts as he'd gone into his two-lap qualifying run. "I just went for it on lap one. She hung in there. But then lap two, I committed again to being flat. I had an even bigger lift. I should have, hindsight lap two, just done a lazy lift, just committed to lifting. Instead I committed to going flat and had to bail out big-time."

Even though his team mate Hunter-Reay is the only driver still in with a chance of thwarting Will Power's hopes of clinching the 2012 title, Andretti insisted that he wasn't going to be stepping aside to let anyone else win just for the sake of it.

"I know my teammate's in the championship," he said. "We're going to help him if we're around him on the track by not interfering, but this is going to race like a high-speed short oval. There's not much I can do drafting-wise to actually help him [but] I'm not going to hurt him or Will.

"We're definitely showing up here to win," he added. "I'm going to be out to try to win the race, end on a good note to carry some momentum into the off-season."

Ryan Briscoe will be starting alongside Andretti when the green flag comes out shortly before 6pm PST (2am BST Sunday morning), and he said he was expecting the season finale to be an absolute thriller.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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)
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)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to a seventh-place finish Sunday, April 12, 2015 during the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud berates Ryan Hunter-Reay after their crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 wins the P1 Award Saturday, April 11, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana. Montoya will start on the pole for the race, based on entrant points as lightning halted qualifying before its completion. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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