MANN MAKES KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY HISTORY WITH 100-MILE FIL VICTORY

SPARTA, Ky. – Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver Pippa Mann became the first female racer to earn a Kentucky Speedway victory by leading all 67 laps of this afternoon’s Firestone Indy Lights “Drive Smart. Buckle-Up Kentucky 100.”
The 27-year-old from Ipswich, England, who became the third female competitor to take a Kentucky Speedway open-wheel race pole award yesterday, set sail when the green flag waved and built a 3.5563 seconds lead over Team Moore Racing driver James Hinchcliffe by Lap 30.
Mann was only threatened by a Lap 3 caution brought out by a three-car incident involving Stefan Wilson, Daniel Herrington and Philip Major, but restarted strong, thundered through the remainder of the 100 racing miles and became the fourth FIL driver to earn a Kentucky Speedway victory from the pole position when her No. 11 machine soared across the finish line an FIL track-record 6.8372 seconds ahead of Hinchcliffe in the No. 2 Team Moore Racing car.
“I joked yesterday that I was going to run away and hide today, but I didn’t really think it would happen. I got my legs underneath me, started pedaling and no one could catch me. Last week at Chicagoland, it was fast racing, but this is a handling track. You have to set the car up to run the fastest line and we focused on that. If we got into deep traffic today, I don’t think we could’ve run as well, but we took a little bit of a gamble on the set up and it paid off. Hinch beat me last week and this week the tables were turned,” Mann said.
She seizes her first career Firestone Indy Lights victory and her second consecutive top-two finish this season.
Hinchcliffe took his ninth top-five and 11th top-10 finish this season through 12 starts. He has placed in a race top-10 for the 10th consecutive time this season.
“It was a good start to the race for us and we had a car that set up well to run in traffic for the tough track conditions. We had a little bit more downforce, but once Pippa broke away it was her in clean air versus me in clean air and I couldn’t catch her. Sometimes you have the second-best car and it’s a second-place day. That’s what we got,” Hinchcliffe said. 
Series championship leader J.K. Vernay took third in the No. 7 Sam Schmidt Motorsports machine, Adrian Campos, Jr., rolled across the finish line fourth in the No. 22 Team Moore Racing car and Gustavo Yacaman completed the top five in Sam Schmidt Motorsports No. 10. Vernay need only successfully start the Oct. 2 Firestone Indy Lights season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway to clinch the 2010 title.

IndyCar Series competitor Sarah Fisher generated the previous best Kentucky Speedway finish by a female racer when she placed third on Aug. 27, 2000. Fisher still holds the IndyCar Series Kentucky qualifying record she set with a  221.390-mph (24.0661 seconds) lap on August 10, 2002. Series mate Danica Patrick earned a Kentucky IndyCar Series pole award with a fast 217.516-mph (24.4947 seconds) practice lap after traditional qualifying was rained out August 13, 2005.
The IZOD IndyCar Series “Kentucky Indy 300” is up next at the track at 8:45 p.m.

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Emory 500 Post Race Racer Comments

The boys and girls of NASCAR were out on the track of the Atlanta Motor Speedway over the weekend, taking their race cars for a drive, and after the race some of the racers stopped by to comment on the race. This is what they had to say about the day and the events that occurred out on the track.

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd) – “That was
fun.  Tony just had such a fast car there at the end, but we’re back.
We’re doing it. We’re scoring more points than anybody.  We’re heading
into the chase.  I feel like we locked ourselves in and I just want to
thank Afla9c for sticking behind us.  That’s what they do, they stick
behind you when things are bad.  It hasn’t been good, but the last
couple of months have been great.   I’m excited about going to
Richmond.  I’m real excited about starting the chase.  We had
something that could win the race tonight and that’s a blast.” WHAT
TURNED IT AROUND FOR THIS TEAM?  “I can’t say what turned it around.
Bob and the guys have just been working hard and that’s what it’s
about.  When they go to the shop and we’re not running the way they
want, they’ve got to keep digging and keep working.  It’s pretty cool
that they’re able to do that and everybody stuck behind us – my fans,
Aflac, Scotts, and Ford and everybody.  I know we don’t look like we
did in 2008, but we’re better set to go race for that championship now
than we’ve ever been.”

KASEY KAHNE – No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion (Finished 32nd) – “I felt
like we were there.  We had a top-five car and when we got out front
we were pretty good, but I was still trying to hold off Carl and
Jimmie, and Tony was really quick.  I was just going down the
straightaway and got hit from behind and I know it was the 39, so I
feel like he lost us about 20 spots today.  He said he got hit from
behind and that forced him into me, so that’s racing, but either way,
we’re the one that took the big shot there.”  YOU AND RYAN HAD AN
AMIABLE DISCUSSION AFTER THE RACE.  HOW DID THAT GO?  “Ryan and I are
fine.  We don’t have an issue with each other, it’s just that when you
get racing sometimes it gets you mad.  He lost about four spots from
me rubbing him a little bit and I lost about 25 or 30 from him rubbing
me, so he got me a little better.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Scotch Blue Ford Fusion (Finished 36th) – “It was
my fault.  I didn’t know we were still three-wide and I guess I cut
down on the 39.  I have to watch the replay.  He certainly didn’t cut
us any slack.  He could have cut us some slack and let us go there.  I
don’t know, I’ll have to watch the replay before I make my judgment,
but I didn’t know we were still three-wide.  It looked like I had
cleared him, along with the 43, and I just turned down into the corner
and, unfortunately, he was there.  We still locked ourselves into the
chase, so we’re excited about that.”  IT WORKED OUT OKAY FROM A POINTS
PERSPECTIVE.  “Yeah, we’re 161 points ahead, so I’ve got to beat one
car if whoever it is wins and leads all the laps, so we’re pretty much
locked in.”

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Black Ford Fusion (Finished 11th) –
“It was a frustrating night.  We performed really poorly and just
couldn’t get the car to run.  The last two stops, whatever we did
really woke the car up and our last couple of runs were pretty good.
We had a tire rub and had to restart behind all the lapped cars and
then the last run we didn’t get tires, which ended up working out okay
because we beat most of the guys that got tires and got the car a lot
better.  As dumb as it sounds for being a five-hour race, we just ran
out of time.  We just need to figure out our adjustments earlier, I
guess.  Overall, it was a good day for us.  I’m happy for our finish
considering how we ran.”

 ELLIOTT SADLER – No. 19 Stanley Ford Fusion (Finished 41st) – “I saw
the 16 spinning and kind of blocking the track and me and Harvick
tried to go under him.  I couldn’t go any lower because of the 29 car
and I think the 16 was standing in the gas trying to stay out of the
wall and just came down and clipped us in the right rear and turned us
head-on into the wall.  Our Stanley Ford is damaged and done for the
night.  It’s very frustrating.  We had a really good car and guys kind
of started short-pitting and that put us behind and we were trying to
play catch-up, but I really wanted to finish this race.  We felt like
we had a good shot at a good finish tonight.”  WAS THE HIT AS BAD AS
POCONO?  “Oh, no.  Nothing like Pocono.  I hit where a SAFER barrier
is in turn four.  We didn’t pull any g’s at all, so I’m thankful they
had that here in turn four at Atlanta.  I do want to say thanks to all
the fans for showing up tonight.  We’ve got a heck of a crowd here in
Atlanta.  Man, I just really wanted to finish this race and run good.
It’s the same car I had at Michigan and we were making a comeback, but
it just wasn’t meant to be.”

PAUL MENARD – No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion (Finished 35th) – “It’s real
positive because our race car was really good.  It was awesome.  The
guys worked really hard and we had a good car all weekend.  We could
have definitely had another top five tonight, but it wasn’t meant to
be.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 37 Taco Bell Ford Fusion (Finished 20th) – “I’m
really proud of the job this team did this weekend, given that this
was our first race together.  We started with a pretty good car and
Peter (Sospenzo) and the team made some good adjustments to help us
run pretty fast and pick up a bunch of positions.  We had good pit
stops and good pit strategy to help us finish on the lead lap, so all
in all it was a good night for the Taco Bell Ford team.”

DAVE BLANEY – No. 38 A&W All-American Food Ford Fusion (Finished 24th)
— “Not bad for my first go at it in this car.  This was the first
complete race I’ve run in a while, so I knew it would take me a few
laps to get into a groove.  I was doing a little experimenting, trying
to run a few different lines.  The car was a little too loose for me
to be too aggressive, but it wasn’t bad for our first time out
together.”

TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 34 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion (Finished 29th)
— “This whole weekend was a bit rough for us.  We battled the car all
day Saturday and we worked on the handling all throughout the race
tonight, too.  We made a lot of changes to try to free the car up, and
we did get a little better toward the end.  But those long green-flag
runs during the first half of the race left us with too much ground to
make up.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 19th) — “I felt like at
the beginning of the race, we had a top 10 or top 15 car. We just
couldn’t keep up with the track; it just kept getting freer and freer
as the night went on. And we were making big adjustments every single
stop on our UPS Ford. We just couldn’t seem to get to the point where
the car was fast. We would get close, but when the track cooled down
even more, we’d be that much more behind when the next pit stop came.
We lost a lap when I spun out, but we didn’t hit anything. We were
fortunate to get back on the lead lap and finish inside the top 20. In
the big picture, it’s not a win, but it wasn’t in the thirties either.
I’m satisfied with the way our team worked together tonight and made
what could have been a bad night, a salvageable night.”

 CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE – “When we talked in here on Saturday,
that’s one of the things we talked about was we haven’t led a lot of
laps and we haven’t had that dominant car and tonight I felt like we
had a car as good or a better car than we’ve had all season – really
for a season and a half.  I’m really proud of my guys.  The last pit
stop was spectacular.  That’s probably the best pit stop I’ve ever
had.  It’s like Jimmie said, when you run up front like that you get
in that mode of racing for the win and the victory, and that’s good
for everyone, especially for us at this point.  I feel like we’ve
scored a ton of points the last seven or eight races.  We’ve performed
probably better in that stretch than we ever had and it makes me
really excited.  I’m really looking forward to the chase.  It’s gonna
be fun.”  WHY DO YOU SAY THIS CAR IS BETTER?  “There was nothing
specific significantly for this race, but I feel that this race suits
my driving style very well.  I really enjoy this race track.  When
Jimmie and Kasey and I were racing two and three-wide for the lead
there for a few laps, there was one point I was laughing going down
the front straightaway.  It was just fun.  That’s what racing is about
is having some fun, and I feel like this race track really lends
itself to that style of racing, so I enjoy it and it was a good
coincidence that my crew and my car were on their game tonight as
well.”  CAN YOU TOUCH ON THE RESTARTS?  “I don’t know the rule. I
don’t know if any of us – if the leader spins his tires and you’re
beating him, is it okay to beat him by three feet or not?  I was in
the same boat as Jimmie.  There was one time I lifted and I think it
was Jimmie or somebody else went blowing by me and I was like, ‘Damn,
maybe I shouldn’t have done that,’ so we’ll have to clarify that, I
guess.”  WHAT DID YOU SAY TO TONY?  “I just told Tony, ‘Good job.’
His car was amazing.  He did a really good job of driving it.  The
place where he was driving on the race track, I couldn’t run there.  I
was just letting him know I thought he did a really good job.”
THOUGHTS ON NEXT WEEK WITH 10 OF 12 GUYS LOCKED INTO THE CHASE.  WHAT
DO YOU EXPECT?  “We’ll just go for it.  I think I can speak for
Jimmie, but we’ll probably just go there and go for the win.  We don’t
have too much to be concerned about, other than that particular race,
so, for me, it’ll just be a fun race.”  HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT MORE
TESTING AT A TRACK LIKE THIS.  DALE JR. SAID JOKINGLY LIKE IT SEEMS
GUYS ALWAYS STRUGGLE UNTIL THE FINAL LAPS.  “I don’t want to do
anymore testing, but he’s right.  There will be times you’re in the
race car here and the crew chief will get all excited like, ‘That was
a great lap.’  And you’re like, ‘Man, this thing is driving terribly.’
 I don’t think that the guy who wins this race even has a car that
drives great.  It’s a very difficult race track, but I don’t know if
testing will make it easier.  I don’t think so.  It’s just got a lot
of character and that’s why I think all of us like racing here so
much.”  DOES ANY OF THIS MOMENTUM FOR YOU MATTER WHEN THE CHASE
STARTS?  “I used to say it didn’t matter.  I used to never believe in
momentum, but I’ve never run so poorly for so long.  Now, I’m seeing
this turnaround and it’s been a couple of months and I think I
understand the team more and I understand where we’ve been gaining,
so, for that reason, I believe in this momentum that we have and I
believe it will apply to future races.  You can’t do anything about a
cut tire or a broken valve spring or something like that, but at least
we’ve proven to ourselves the last couple months that we can do it and
that feels good for us.”

Pippa Mann Enters Car Racing’s History Books

Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver Pippa Mann became the first female racer to earn a Kentucky Speedway victory by leading all 67 laps of this afternoon’s Firestone Indy Lights “Drive Smart. Buckle-Up Kentucky 100.”
The 27-year-old from Ipswich, England, who became the third female competitor to take a Kentucky Speedway open-wheel race pole award yesterday, set sail when the green flag waved and built a 3.5563 seconds lead over Team Moore Racing driver James Hinchcliffe by Lap 30.
Mann was only threatened by a Lap 3 caution brought out by a three-car incident involving Stefan Wilson, Daniel Herrington and Philip Major, but restarted strong, thundered through the remainder of the 100 racing miles and became the fourth FIL driver to earn a Kentucky Speedway victory from the pole position when her No. 11 machine soared across the finish line an FIL track-record 6.8372 seconds ahead of Hinchcliffe in the No. 2 Team Moore Racing car.
“I joked yesterday that I was going to run away and hide today, but I didn’t really think it would happen. I got my legs underneath me, started pedaling and no one could catch me. Last week at Chicagoland, it was fast racing, but this is a handling track. You have to set the car up to run the fastest line and we focused on that. If we got into deep traffic today, I don’t think we could’ve run as well, but we took a little bit of a gamble on the set up and it paid off. Hinch beat me last week and this week the tables were turned,” Mann said.
She seizes her first career Firestone Indy Lights victory and her second consecutive top-two finish this season.
Hinchcliffe took his ninth top-five and 11th top-10 finish this season through 12 starts. He has placed in a race top-10 for the 10th consecutive time this season.
“It was a good start to the race for us and we had a car that set up well to run in traffic for the tough track conditions. We had a little bit more downforce, but once Pippa broke away it was her in clean air versus me in clean air and I couldn’t catch her. Sometimes you have the second-best car and it’s a second-place day. That’s what we got,” Hinchcliffe said. 
Series championship leader J.K. Vernay took third in the No. 7 Sam Schmidt Motorsports machine, Adrian Campos, Jr., rolled across the finish line fourth in the No. 22 Team Moore Racing car and Gustavo Yacaman completed the top five in Sam Schmidt Motorsports No. 10. Vernay need only successfully start the Oct. 2 Firestone Indy Lights season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway to clinch the 2010 title.

IndyCar Series competitor Sarah Fisher generated the previous best Kentucky Speedway finish by a female racer when she placed third on Aug. 27, 2000. Fisher still holds the IndyCar Series Kentucky qualifying record she set with a  221.390-mph (24.0661 seconds) lap on August 10, 2002. Series mate Danica Patrick earned a Kentucky IndyCar Series pole award with a fast 217.516-mph (24.4947 seconds) practice lap after traditional qualifying was rained out August 13, 2005.
The IZOD IndyCar Series “Kentucky Indy 300” is up next at the track at 8:45 p.m.