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Milwaukee IndyFest (West Allis, Wisconsin): Andretti on pole for Milwaukee IndyFest

Marco Andretti was a man on a mission on Friday as he topped all the IndyCar track sessions in Milwaukee on his way to claiming an emphatic pole position.
From the very start on Friday, the big question was whether anyone had anything in reserve to prevent Andretti Autosport in general and Marco Andretti in particular from dominating the proceedings in early evening qualifying.

The answer, in both cases, was pretty much 'no.'

Marco's two-lap qualifying time of 42.8584s meant an average speed of 170.515mph, which easily surpassed the previous qualifying record of 168.737mph for the Milwaukee Mile set last year by Dario Franchitti.

"That was about as good as we could run, so I'm pleased," said the driver afterwards. "I'm pleased with what we did out there," he said, adding that he'd been able to build on last year's set-up work by his team mate Ryan Hunter-Reay who went on to win the 2012 race here.

"Chevrolet has done a great job as well, but I'm even more pleased because I think we have a heck of a race car underneath us too," he added.

It will be the third time that Marco has started from pole position in 124 IZOD IndyCar Series starts. His first pole also came at Milwaukee way back in 2008, and it' a track with huge significance for the Andretti family as a whole - his father Michael - now the CEO of Andretti Autosport - is a five-time winner here.

"I told Dad that hopefully [pole] is only half of his Father's Day gift," said Marco. The family's marketing company is also the main sponsors and organisers of the Saturday's Milwaukee IndyFest event.

It's not just Marco who shone for the Andretti race squad on Friday: all four of the team's cars will start from the top five. Marco was just 0.0245s ahead of his team mate James Hinchcliffe, while Hunter-Reay was a tenth back and will take fourth place just ahead of the Andretti-HVM co-entry driven by EJ Viso.

"Don't tell Marco, but the outside is way better on the start!" quipped Hinchcliffe of his hopes for the start of the race which will see the #27 car start alongside Andretti on the front row - and on the outside line. "That is what is what I was going for!"

Hinchcliffe had an early setback in the first Friday practice session when he brushed the wall and missed most of the session while his car was repaired, so second place on the grid marked a great comeback for the 26-year-old Canadian who is so far the only repeat winner in the 2013 IndyCar season after eight of the 19 races of the season.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Marco Andretti celebrates pole at Milwaukee. (Photo Creit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti in action. (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti, driver of the #25 RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet IndyCar, captures the pole with the fastest lap Friday, June 14, 2013 for Saturday`s Milwaukee IndyFest race at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller for Chevy Racing)
Marco Andretti, driver of the #25 RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet IndyCar, celebrates with the Verizon P1 Pole Award after qualifying fastest Friday, June 14, 2013 for Saturday`s Milwaukee IndyFest race at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. (Photo by Phillip Abbott for Chevy Racing)
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