AT THE TRACK: Viso busts out personal best

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Welcome back to IBJ's video feature "At the Track," in which videographer Mason King views events leading up to the Indianapolis 500 on May 27 from the perspective of up-and-coming driver E.J. Viso and his team at locally based KV Racing Technology.

When last we left Viso and his cadre of engineers and mechanics, they had hit a dead end with the No. 5 car, encountering understeering and unwanted vibrations as they struggled to get the vehicle stable and up to speed in time for qualifying. Mechanical issues have flummoxed Viso in previous seasons—contributing to his past reputation as a somewhat erratic driver—and the team saw the need to re-establish a base line for the car with a few practice days left.

"It’s been a very up-and-down week,” the 26-year-old Viso said. “We’ve had some very low moments. To be honest, probably during Tuesday and Wednesday, we didn’t know what to do. But we just regrouped and reloaded. We studied all our information and put it all together."

In four previous starts at the Speedway, Viso had managed a best qualifying position of 18th. For Saturday’s pole competition, Viso’s bottom line was fairly simple: Qualify in the top 24 cars, so the team could spend Sunday concentrating on fine-tuning the vehicle. (Remaining cars would shoot it out for the last nine positions on Sunday.)

KV Racing Technology co-owner Jimmy Vasser, who has taken Viso under his wing during this IndyCar season, thought Viso and the car were capable of finishing in the single digits. “We’re not really in a position to fight for the pole, but we’re in a position to fight for a good, solid, top-10 starting spot.”

In the video above, IBJ follows Viso and the crew for car No. 5 as they prepare for the qualifying in scorching heat (134 degrees on the track). The result more than met their expectations—an average speed of 224.422 mph, good for ninth overall and a third-row starting spot.

In a canny bit of strategizing, the KV brain trust opted not to compete outright for the pole position in the following Fast Nine shootout, in which the top nine cars hit the track again to re-establish starting position. In the video, Viso explains the decision to hang back and keep his ninth-place starting spot.

Coincidentally, all three of KV’s drivers finished in consecutive top-10 positions on Saturday. Tony Kanaan, who also pitted early during the Fast Nine, will start eighth. Formula One legend Rubens Barrichello, will start 10th.

For previous editions in the "At the Track" series, see below.



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  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

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