Pocono, PA – After a successful test on Thursday and solid morning practice on Saturday, Alex Tagliani made contact with the wall during his qualifying attempt at Pocono Raceway.
The Canadian driver was on his first of two qualifying laps when he brushed the wall in turn one and spun, making hard contact with the inside SAFER Barrier with the back end of the car.
As part of standard INDYCAR procedure, Tagliani was sent to the medical center, where he was released and pronounced clear to drive by Dr. Michael Olinger.
“It’s disappointing and sad to have so much work for the Barracuda Racing boys to do on the car,” said Tagliani. “I think we made some really good improvements on our car and it was really fast. We were hoping to show some pretty good pace.
“Looking at the beacon, we were already so much quicker. I was very impressed with the changes we made. I thought we had a really good car this morning in race trim. We usually get it done in qualifying when we’re that good in race conditions so it’s a bummer that we can’t catch a break. Hopefully we can recover and have a good race tomorrow.”
The Barracuda Racing team will work hard to get the No. 98 car ready for Sunday’s Pocono 400. The work list includes a scheduled engine change. Tagliani will start the 160-lap competition in 24th place.
“Alex is ok and that is the most important thing,” said team owner Bryan Herta. “Unfortunately, the damage will cause us to miss the final practice but we will have the Barracuda car back together for tomorrow’s race.”
This year marks the first time in more than two decades since open-wheel racing has taken place on the “tricky triangle.” The Pocono 400 will take place on Sunday, July 7 at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway tri-oval. Pre-race activities are scheduled to begin at approximately 11:30 a.m. ET with an estimated green flag drop at 12:15 p.m. The action will be broadcast live on ABC.