Dixon Delivers Detroit Pole
Scott Dixon edged Will Power by just over four-thousandths of a second in IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying Saturday at Belle Isle Park to claim the pole for Sunday’s Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. It is Dixon’s first pole of the 2012 season, breaking a string of poles by Team Penske drivers, and the first pole for Honda with the return of manufacturer competition to the IZOD IndyCar Series this year. Dixon also qualified on the Detroit pole in 2008, the last race on the temporary Belle Isle circuit prior to this year’s event.
Honda-powered drivers claimed three of the top four starting positions for Sunday’s race, with Alex Tagliani third-fastest, his best qualifying run of 2012 in only his second race with Honda for Bryan Herta Autosport. Simon Pagenaud equaled his previous best starting position of 2012 and will start fourth for Schmidt Hamilton Racing. Graham Rahal just missed advancing to “Fast Six” final qualifying, coming up hundredths of a second short, and will start seventh. Justin Wilson, winner of the most recent IndyCar Series race in Detroit in 2008, qualified 11th; with Indianapolis 500 star Takuma Sato rounding out the top 12 qualifiers. Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti will start 15th. Sunday’s 90-lap race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.
Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) pole qualifier, 1st pole of 2012, 18th career IndyCar pole, 2nd Detroit pole; 1st Honda pole of 2012: “Qualifying on the pole here is definitely very important. This is one of the toughest tracks we have in terms of providing passing opportunities, so starting at the front is critical. It’s a fun track, but it was crazy out there … crazy. It was a pretty close session, so you had to keep pushing all the way through.