MILWAUKEE – Here are a few additional news, notes and quotes ahead of today’s ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers:
- While happy with pole position and leading each of the first three on-track sessions thus far, Josef Newgarden expects the race to be a tougher challenge. He said the tire dropoff is better than last year and expects the race to be less over a stint.
- Ryan Briscoe said Schmidt Peterson has had much better qualifying cars than what he’s delivered, before today. “I didn’t do a good job of qualifying Texas or Fontana. I wouldn’t put that down to the team; it was me not doing the best job,” Briscoe told MotorSportsTalk.
- Briscoe’s best start prior to today had been 16th in Fontana and teammate James Jakes hadn’t bettered 10th (Detroit race one) either.
- Sage Karam’s start of third is a career best; it had been 10th on two occasions prior to today.
- Sebastien Bourdais said bottoming out was a problem. “Truthfully we’re hitting the ground so hard we have no idea what the car is capable of or should have done. When wheels don’t touch when we’re bottoming, everything bottoms out. It’s the worst that can happen to you. It’s weird. I’ve no idea what’s going on. Picked up 20 degrees from this morning. 80 and now it’s 110. It doesn’t take a lot to take a little bit and have the car turn into a piece of evil crap,” he told MotorSportsTalk.
- Not only is this Scott Dixon’s 250th career start, but it’s also the 50-year anniversary of A.J. Foyt’s incredible pole-winning run for the Tony Bettenhausen 200 in August 1965! He turned the pole speed of 107.881 mph in the Sheraton-Thompson Meskowski/Offy, i.e. an upright dirt car against a field of low-slung rear-engine cars! The next closest upright car started in row 10—Bobby Unser in Gordon Van Liew’s Vita Fresh Orange Juice No. 88.
- Temperatures increased quite a bit from the morning to the afternoon. The morning began with ambient temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 on track, but by qualifying temps were 81 and 115, respectively, per Firestone.
- Crowds have been decent through the morning hours, perhaps better than anticipated for the primarily one-day event. The late start time of 4:30 p.m. CT, however, may not be the best for out-of-state attendees. It’s the last year of two in a two-year contract for race title sponsor ABC Supply Co., so the crowd is going to be important to watch.