RICHIE HEARN CAPTURES POLE FOR DELPHI INDY 300

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Veteran Richie Hearn, making his first IRL IndyCar TM Series appearance since the Indianapolis 500 May 25, earned the MBNA Pole position Sept. 6 for the Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

It was Hearn?s second career IndyCar Series pole. His last pole came at New Hampshire International Speedway in 1996.

Hearn topped the speed charts with a fast lap of 24.5206 seconds, 223.159 mph in the No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Tomas Scheckter qualified second at 24.5290, 223.083 in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone.

?The test (here) last week really helped us out because we were able to unload yesterday and the car was fast right out of the box,? said Hearn, who is substituting for injured Team Menard driver Vitor Meira this weekend. ?It kind of let us work on the real small things that give you that extra half-mile an hour or a 10th-of-a-mile an hour here and there.?

Hearn competed at Chicagoland in 2001, starting 20th and finishing sixth.

?Tomorrow will be a good race,? said Hearn. ?It will be a big pack. I know (Scheckter) has a good car as well, so I'm just going to enjoy this while I can and worry about tomorrow tomorrow morning. It's really easy to get down on yourself when you're sitting at home, watching these races on TV, over and over. It kind of helps me remind myself that I can drive a race car. Hopefully, I'll get some more chances.?

Scheckter said: ?It (qualifying run) was good, but not good enough. I thought it was going to be close. We knew Richie was pretty quick. Maybe a little bit of the temperature played into his hands, but we were so close, anyway.

?The main thing is tomorrow we?ve got a good race car. We worked on it yesterday, and I think we have a good chance for the race win, which is what I?m aiming for.?

Felipe Giaffone, returning to the cockpit for the first time since suffering leg and pelvis injuries in the Kansas Indy 300, qualified third at 24.5771, 222.646 in the Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone.

Kenny Brack will start fourth in the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Dallara/Honda/Firestone with a fast lap of 24.6444, 222.038, while Scott Dixon rounded out the top five at 24.6849, 221.674 in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Panoz G/Toyota/Firestone.

The Delphi Indy 300 starts at 1 p.m. (Local Time) Sept. 7 and will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network. Pole Qualifying is set for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 6, preceded by a practice at 11:15 a.m.

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Pre-Race Quotes
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Chicagoland Speedway
500 Speedway Blvd, Joliet, Illinois 60433 Tickets & Information Call 888.629.RACE (7223)

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