Scott Dixon led the way for Honda in IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying Saturday during preparation for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Baltimore, taking his second pole of 2013 in the strongest qualifying performance for the manufacturer this season. Five Honda-powered drivers made the final “Fast Six” round of knockout Indy car qualifying, and Honda took eight of the top 12 starting positions overall.
Recording its strongest qualifying effort of 2013, the Sam Schmidt Motorsports operation claimed two of the top six starting positions, with Simon Pagenaud third in his Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports machine – his best qualifying result this year – and rookie teammate Tristan Vautier escaping from a minor collision at the end of second-round qualifying to make his fourth “Fast Six” appearance of the season in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda Dallara.
Veteran Justin Wilson will start from the second row, fourth, in his best qualifying performance of the yea. Josef Newgarden was another Honda driver to produce his best qualifying run of 2013, and will start fifth for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.Graham Rahal crashed in the second round and was penalized his two quickest lap times for bringing out the red flag, preventing him from advancing to the Fast Six. Rahal has been cleared to drive and will start 12th for Rahal Lettterman Lanigan Racing.
Scott Dixon(#9 Target Chip Ganassi RacingHonda Dallara) pole qualifier, his 2nd pole of 2013 and 20th career Indy car pole; Honda’s 7th pole of the season: “It was an interesting day. The first [qualifying] round was pretty straightforward, but in ‘Q2’ we tried getting tricky, then had a sensor fail and that cost us time in Pit Lane. Luckily, the team was able to repair the sensor and the [Rahal] penalty advanced us to the Fast Six. I actually lost a couple of tenths [of a second] on my quick lap, but I guess it was still a good one as it got us the pole!”