Honda Racing Report–Firestone 550–Texas Motor Speedway

Honda Racing Report
Friday, June 8, 2012
Firestone 550 Qualifying Report”
Circuit:                 Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval) Fort Worth, TX
2011 Winners:     Will Power (Team Penske Honda) 206.639 mph average [Race 2]
Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 181.649 mph average [Race 1]
Weather:              Mostly sunny, warm, 88 degrees

Tagliani Repeats Texas Pole Run

In repeat performances of their 2011 efforts, Honda-powered Alex Tagliani and Dario Franchitti qualified 1-2 Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, in preparation for Saturday night’s Firestone 550 IZOD IndyCar Series race. Last year, the pair also qualified first and second, with Franchitti going on to win the first race of a unique twin-event format used here in 2011, and Tagliani finishing fourth.

This year’s race marks a return to the traditional single, 228-lap format. Graham Rahal and Scott Dixon gave Honda a lock on the first four starting positions. For Rahal, the third starting position is his best of 2012, while Dixon continued his run of strong qualifying performances this year. The two-time series champion has qualified sixth or better at six of seven events in 2012.

Mike Conway qualified eighth for A.J. Foyt Racing, his fourth top-10 qualifying effort of the season, and Indianapolis 500 star Takuma Sato will start 10th for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Rookie points leader Simon Pagenaud just missed a top-10 start, qualifying 11th for Schmidt Hamilton Racing.

Television coverage for the first Saturday night race of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series will air on the NBC Sports Network, starting at 8 p.m. EDT.

Alex Tagliani (#98 Bryan Herta Autosport Honda) pole qualifier, his 1st pole of 2012 and 8th career IndyCar pole; also pole qualifier at Texas Motor Speedway in 2011: “It’s pretty clear to see that for the team, once we got back with Honda, we’re a threat every race weekend. I feel good. Our championship started at Indy, and to be on the pole here is a great boost to the morale of the entire team. The car’s good, and the Honda engine is producing good power at every boost level. We’re stoked to be back with them; it makes a big difference.”