Dixon Blazes To Pole At Mid-Ohio

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, August 1 2015
Scott Dixon trashed the track record at Mid-Ohio.

Scott Dixon trashed the track record at Mid-Ohio.


Mr. Mid-Ohio struck again at Saturday.

Scott Dixon shattered a 16-year-old track record in earning the pole for Sunday’s 90-lap Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

Dixon, who won at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2014 after starting at the rear of the 22-car grid, recorded a best lap of 1 minute, 4.5814 seconds (125.869 mph) during the Firestone Fast Six session.

“It’s great that the Target car has a lot of speed, but as you saw last year with us winning from the last row, that anything can happen,” said Dixon, who has won five of the past eight Verizon IndyCar Series races on Mid-Ohio’s 2.258-mile permanent road course.

The pole was Dixon’s second of the Verizon IndyCar Series season and the 23rd of his Indy car career – which ties him with three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford for 12th all time.

“The Target car at this track has obviously had a strong run here,” Dixon said. “I think 10 wins with Mr. Chip Ganassi and five with myself driving the (No.) 9. It’s a combination, but even on that lap I messed up in (Turn) 12 and again in (Turn) 2, so there’s definitely a bit of speed.

“We waved off the last lap as well. Obviously Will (Power) came pretty close, so luckily we had a buffer there. We’re starting in the right position, but as we saw last year anything can happen. We started 22nd and won from there with obviously a pretty big break in strategy. I’ve got to thank my teammates, obviously Team Target has done a hell of a job all weekend, the car rolled off fantastically. It’s always great to be here at Mid-Ohio with so many fans. Turns 4 and 5 have been packed over there already, which is fantastic to see.”

A total of 11 drivers posted laps faster than the previous track record (1:05.347) set by Dario Franchitti in 1999 and matched by Gil de Ferran in 2000. But no one could catch Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

The green flag for Round 14 of 16 of the Verizon IndyCar Series season will be broadcast live on CNBC, with coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Reigning series champion Will Power, driving the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, will join Dixon on the front row after posting a best lap of 1:04.6782.

“Dixon’s really good around here,” Power said, “but it would be nice to have a win. If everything falls our way, we can definitely win. No question we need to for the championship. That’s our goal.”

Sebastien Bourdais, the pole sitter for the 2014 race at Mid-Ohio, and Helio Castroneves will be on Row 2. Josef Newgarden, a two-time winner this season, and Charlie Kimball, who won at Mid-Ohio in 2013, will share Row 3.

“We might not have had the ultimate speed,” Newgarden said. “I definitely didn’t have Dixie’s (Scott Dixon’s) speed. I think we were probably a little better, maybe third would have been possible with a couple more tenths, but I didn’t get it out of the car when I needed to. But Dixon’s lap was out of reach for us. I think we’re there, we’re in that top group with these guys, but we’re just not at the top spot of it. We make sure to execute really well every weekend and we find ourselves in the top five, top six, and then we do a good job on race day generally.”

Verizon IndyCar Series championship points leader Juan Pablo Montoya of Team Penske will start 10th in the No. 2 Hawk Performance Chevrolet. Graham Rahal of New Albany, Ohio, who is 42 points behind Montoya in second place, will start 13th in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, August 1 2015
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