NEWTON, Iowa, Friday, June 22, 2012 – Racing is all about the numbers, for better or for worse. Car numbers, track lap times, miles-per-hour, number of laps on track – it all adds up. Today, for young Canadian David Ostella, the magic number at the end of the day was lucky number five.
The No. 22 Global Precast/LiUNA/Xtreme Coil Drilling entry of Team Moore Racing began the qualifying run this evening on the banks of the 7/8-mile tri-oval of the Iowa Speedway for the Sukup 100 from the fifth position in the qualifying draw.
Determined to continue his momentum fresh off his career best fourth place finish at Milwaukee last weekend, Ostella pushed “the loud pedal” as hard as he could and produced a fast warm-up lap of 157.588 mph. He steadily gained ground on the two-lap qualifying run to settle into a provisional second place position on the grid.
As the qualifying session progressed, Ostella faced a late bump by Tristan Vautier of Sam Schmidt Motorsports, who swept the pole at the end of qualifying with his teammate Esteban Guerrieri sliding into second. Despite the last minute shift down the grid, the 20-year-old was decidedly pleased with his two-lap average of 158.939 mph, and his fifth place position on the starting line-up for tomorrow’s 115-lap race.
“The Team Moore crew has worked so hard to give me a great car for qualifying today and I am really happy with where we are starting tomorrow,” he said. “We worked hard to dial in the set-up earlier in practice and I am just looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and doing the best we can and see if we can continue our top-five finishing streak.”
With a decided knack for high-speed oval racing based on his recent fourth place finish at Milwaukee IndyFest and his previous fifth place qualifying effort at the Freedom 100 in Indianapolis, his career best at the time, Ostella is gaining ground and getting his rhythm back as season heads into the halfway point.
“I feel so much better this weekend about everything,” the Maple, Ontario native said. “I was sick in Milwaukee and spent most of my weekend trying to sleep and recover, which made my fourth place finish so amazing. I think the adrenalin kicked in and helped me feel better and improve my performance. I have a much better outlook coming into this weekend and thanks to the support by my family and all of my sponsors and contributors. I hope to put on a great show for all the Iowa fans tomorrow.”
Firestone Indy Lights teams and drivers will have one final 45-minute practice session at 2:10 pm on Saturday, just prior to the Sukup 100, which begins at 6:40 p.m. Central.
Weekend Schedule: (All times local)
Saturday, June 25
2:10 -2:55 p.m. – Firestone Indy Lights practice
6:30 p.m. – Sukup 100 pre-race
6:40 p.m. – Sukup 100 (115 laps/100 miles), NBC Sports Network (Taped) 11:59 p.m., Saturday June 25)