Andretti Autosport had a mixed qualifying for tomorrow night’s Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway. Carlos Munoz suffered a heavy crash between Turn 1 and Turn 2 at the start of the session which ruled him out and required a trip to the in-field medical centre. The Colombian was cleared and released following medic checks that determined he had suffered some soft tissue damage.
Munoz was the third driver today to hit the wall at Turn 2 following Takuma Sato and James Hinchcliffe’s contact with the wall that ruled them out of qualifying.
Munoz will start tomorrow’s race from 20th place just behind Graham Rahal and speaking following the session he said:
Unfortunately I crashed the car. I feel sorry for the guys. They’ll put so much work in tonight to get ready for tomorrow. I just lost the car — went through everything really quick. It’s a shame. I feel a little bit injured on my knees, but I’m okay. I can’t wait to be back on track tomorrow. I’ll just rest a little bit today and think about tomorrow.
Marco Andretti in the number 27 United Fiber & Data Honda will start the race from 11th place and speaking following the session he said:
The disappointing part is that was a good run, and we’re 11th. Obviously, when we have the car wrung out we want to be running for Pole and not 11th… so disappointed. We have a lot of work to do tonight but we have a direction I think we can work on. If we get the car good in race trim, the competition will be more human tomorrow night.
Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda goes into tomorrow’s race in third place in the standings following his podium last time out at the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg and will start tomorrow’s Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix from 12th place just behind Marco Andretti.
Speaking following the session, Hunter Reay commented by saying;
First, I am glad Carlos is alright. Pulling 5G’s (of downforce) around here is one thing and when that string breaks and you hit the wall, it’s a massive hit. I am glad he’s alright. This morning we were quite a bit slower than the competition, we were 11th and the top Honda so we really needed to start swinging at it to try and get some speed but it just wasn’t in there. That was a hairy run. When you see your teammate go in and he’s running the same set up, to go out and try to keep your foot on the floor is an exercise. I got loose and we slid around. That was not exactly the ideal qualifying run but I can’t race tomorrow night. I love short oval racing and this place at night is going to be spectacular. Hopefully we can dial in a good DHL car tonight and make a good show of it.
Alexander Rossi in the No.98 Castrol Edge/Curb Honda was disappointed with qualifying and will start his first oval race from 14th place on the grid and speaking afterwards he stated:
I’m pretty disappointed with (the qualifying run). The car was different than it was in practice, so I need to understand why that was. I think there is obviously, in terms of going to P1, a difference between the two aero kits that we need to understand. From my personal standpoint, I feel like we just missed the transition in terms of the day with track temperature and everything from practice to qualifying. We’ll have to make sure we capitalize this evening and make sure the race car is really good.