• Seven Honda drivers start in the top 10• Munoz leads rookies with fourth-fastest time
• Honda seeking third consecutive Mid-Ohio victory with manufacturer competition
Josef Newgarden conquered constantly changing track conditions Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, leading the Honda-powered field in Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying, and will start on the outside of the front row, second in Sunday’s Honda Indy 200.
A heavy rain shower that fell shortly before the start of qualifying resulted in a thoroughly wet track, which gradually dried throughout the three-round knockout qualifying. Newgarden was one of three Honda-powered entries to advance to the final “Fast Six” round, with Carlos Munoz and Ryan Hunter-Reay, both from Andretti Autosport, qualifying fourth and fifth, respectively.
Josef Newgarden(#67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda) qualified 2nd, equals his career-best qualifying performance of 2nd at Texas Motor Speedway: “I thought we were pretty good in practice this morning, but everyone was so close that I’m glad it rained, because it spread everyone out.We had a really great car; just trying to get the most out of each lap was key. You couldn’t make any mistakes.That last run was really difficult to judge if we were going to risk it and go on reds [dry weather, soft compound tires]. The good thing was we made it to the Fast Six, so, worst case scenario, we were going to start sixth. I think the smart thing to do was stay on wets. That’s what everyone else did. It seemed like the right move and we just missed [the pole] by a bit.”