All three drivers for the Rahal Letterman Racing team, sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, qualified in the top ten for tomorrow’s Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway – the first of the IRL Indy Car Series races to use ten percent ethanol fuel. The 2005 Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick will start third in tomorrow’s race, 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice qualified for sixth, and rookie Paul Dana – driving the number 17 Team Ethanol car – qualified for ninth. Dana told us in an interview this afternoon, “It’s awesome to be qualified in the top ten in such a competitive field and it’s great for my confidence. I’m going for Rookie of the Year this year and it’s a real strong starting spot. But pay day is tomorrow.”
The top two qualifiers today broke the track’s previous qualifying record, set in 2004 by Buddy Rice, and as part of an ethanol industry-sponsored team Dana says he was pleased to see the ethanol-enhanced fuel perform well. “The cars are always going quicker year after year so it’s pretty normal to see a track record, but we’re certainly happy that ethanol could be a part of it.” Listen to Dana’s interview here.