Josef Newgarden and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) will start seventh on the grid in Saturday night’s Firestone 550, the team’s highest qualification effort in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
“I think that was our smoothest qualifying session,” Newgarden said with a smile. “We actually didn’t have anything go wrong, we didn’t have any incidents and nothing funny happened like a lot of the time it does. It was definitely one of our better ones and I think we’ll be in good shape for the race.”
Driving the No. 67 SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car, Newgarden maneuvered his way around the 1.5-mile high-speed oval at Texas Motor Speedway, qualifying with a two-lap average speed of 216.693 mph.
“Qualifying is important in that it can hopefully keep you out of some trouble in the beginning of the race,” Newgarden said. “But in the end, this race will be all about attrition because it’s such a long race.”
The 228-lap, 550-km contest is the first of two night races on the 2013 IndyCar schedule
“Racing at night gives you a different perspective inside the car,” the 22-year-old driver said. “Everything seems faster so everything speeds up under the lights. I think it makes it more exciting for the fans to watch. I’ve always enjoyed watching night races myself. As a driver, it’s fun because you definitely have to be more on your toes with the sense of speed increase.”
Driver Will Power is set to start on pole in Saturday’s Firestone 550, with a qualifying speed of 219.182 mph. The green flag will drop on Saturday, June 8 at 8:45 p.m. ET. Tune into ABC to watch the No. 67 car, and for all of the latest updates from Texas, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter.