EDMONTON, Alberta – July 21, 2012 –Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports’ Simon Pagenaud qualified ninth for Sunday’s Edmonton Indy but will start seventh on the grid of the 75-lap race (166.8 miles).

Pagenaud’s lap of 1:27.8410 at 91.147 mph in the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone car was the ninth fastest in Round 2 of the IZOD IndyCar Series’ three-round ‘knockout’ style qualifying format. However, 10-place grid penalties imposed on fast-qualifier Ryan Hunter-Reay and Scott Dixon will move Pagenaud to seventh when the green flag drops at the Edmonton City Centre Airport circuit.

“The car was OK in the rain, but we’re missing a little bit of help from the front end of the car in the wet and in the dry,” said Pagenaud. “We’ll work on it. Seventh is not a bad starting position tomorrow. There are a lot of championship contenders who didn’t make it in the Fast 6. We’re in a good spot. It will be a long day tomorrow, and we have a good race car.”

The hottest driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series – Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay – proved yet again Saturday that he is a strong contender to win the championship. Hunter-Reay won the PEAK Pole Award during a wet qualifying session.

Though he has won three races this year, his Edmonton Indy pole is Hunter-Reay’s first pole of 2012. His last and only other pole came at Milwaukee in 2004. This is the 23rd pole for Andretti Autosport

When the cars take the grid Sunday, Hunter-Reay will have to lineup 11th due to a grid penalty as a result of an unapproved engine change after the last IZOD IndyCar Series race.

Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti, who was the second-fastest qualifier, will move into the pole position for tomorrow’s Edmonton Indy. His lap of 1:17.2446 at 103.650 mph was second on the final timing sheet.

Penske Racing’s Ryan Briscoe will start next to Franchitti on the front row after producing a lap of 1:17.4238 at 103.410 mph, which was third best of the day.

The rest of the Firestone Fast Six were Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takumo Sato, Bryan Herta Autosport’s Alex Tagliani, and Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves.

The Edmonton Indy will air live Sunday, July 22, at 2 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network. It can also be heard on the IMS Radio Network (check local listings) and XM94/Sirius 121.

DATE: July 21, 2012
EVENT: Edmonton Indy
LOCATION: Edmonton, Alberta (2.224-mile, 13-turn temporary circuit)
SERIES: IZOD IndyCar Series
PAGENAUD: 9th (1:27.8410 at 91.147 mph in rain)
POLE WINNER: Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:17.2338 at 103.664 mph)