Carlos Munoz

WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- Carlos Munoz understands that his strategy for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers is generally shared by 23 competitors.

Still, qualifying up front to potentially remain up front on the short oval is the most expedient avenue to being up front at the end of the 250 laps July 12.

“It makes life a lot easier,” said Munoz, who qualified 20th in the 2014 race at The Milwaukee Mile and was immersed in rush hour traffic from the green flag.

Will Power, who earned the Verizon P1 Award last year, led the first 57 laps and, more importantly, the final 58 to claim the victory that was pivotal in his Verizon IndyCar Series championship run.

“Running in clean air or dirty air here doesn’t affect you so much because you’re lifting quite a lot, but having a good car in traffic is important, too,” added Munoz, who recorded his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory six weeks ago in the No. 26 AndettiTV Cinsay Honda.

The condensed schedule -- a 75-minute practice session at 5 p.m. (CT) July 11, followed by a 45-minute morning practice and single-car qualifications leading into the 4:35 p.m. green flag – also presents challenges.

“No one has tested in Milwaukee so it’s going to be a question mark for everyone with the set-ups and it’s going to be really challenging Sunday because everything is so close together – practice, qualifying and then race – you won’t have time to sit down and talk to your engineer,” Munoz said. “That’s when it’s good to have teammates. We each can try something different, compare data and make decisions from there.”

Hometown bow to longtime supporter

Josef Newgarden’s No. 67 CFH Racing Chevrolet has a special scheme for the weekend with Milwaukee-based Direct Supply, a longtime supporter of the team, on the sidepods. Direct Supply is the nation’s leading provider of equipment, eCommerce and service solutions for senior living.

Of note

Team Penske entered its first race at The Mile in 1972, with Mark Donohue finishing second and Gary Bettenhausen placing third. … Juan Pablo Montoya was a member of a panel this week at the annual Federation Internationale De L-Automobile Sports Conference in Mexico City. … The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2016 for the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational. … Michael Drews, from Edgewater, Fla., is the latest winner of Honda’s Fastest Seat in Sports sweepstakes. He will lead the field in the two-seat Honda Indy car driven by Martin Plowman. For information on how you can enter to receive the ride of a lifetime visit