Ganassi Cars Dominate Iowa Qualifying
Scott Dixon earned the pole for Saturday’s IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway by setting a two-lap qualifying track record of 186.256 mph.
Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Tony Kanaan, the 2010 race winner on the .894-mile, variably-banked oval while with Andretti Autosport, recorded a two-lap average speed of 185.891 mph in the No. 10 entry to tie his season-high qualifying result of second.
Dixon, driving the No. 9 entry, is the ninth different driver to claim the Verizon P1 Award through the 12 rounds. It was Dixon’s 21st career Indy car pole, tying Gil de Ferran for 13th on the all-time list.
“It’s definitely a good thing to see the Ganassi cars at the top,” said the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion, whose previous best qualifying result on an oval this season was seventh at Texas Motor Speedway. “We had been stuck in sort of a rut and it had been a while since my last pole. We’re winless so we have a bit of work to do. It definitely will be a tough one; the competition is extremely good.”
Eight different drivers representing six teams have won this season, though none have been from Chip Ganassi Racing. Andretti Autosport has won five of the seven races at Iowa Speedway, including the past four.
Dixon started on the pole at Iowa in 2007 and 2008, but has yet to win on the oval. His next victory will tie Al Unser Jr. for sixth all-time on the Indy car win list with 34. No driver has won from the pole in the seven races at Iowa Speedway.
Helio Castroneves, who enters tomorrow’s 300-lap race tied with Team Penske teammate Will Power atop the championship standings, set the one-lap track record (186.809 mph) on his second qualifying lap in the No. 3 for a two-lap average of 185.685 mph and will join Ryan Briscoe (185.339 mph) on Row 2. Power, battling bronchitis this weekend, qualified ninth in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.
Carlos Munoz qualified fifth and Sebastien Bourdais will join the series rookie in Row 3. The fourth Chip Ganassi Racing car, driven by Charlie Kimball, will occupy Row 4 in the seventh starting position with 2011 Iowa race winner Marco Andretti, who starts eighth.No Comment