INDYCAR PRESS RELEASE
LEXINGTON, Ohio — Dario Franchitti turned to Gil de Ferran and, appropriately during breakfast, said that their longtime shared Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course lap record was toast.
Franchitti set the qualifying lap record of 1 minute, 05.347 seconds on Aug. 13, 1999, and de Ferran matched it 364 days later.
After seeing the lap times in practice the day before, it wasn’t a prophetic stretch for the four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion. And he was correct.
Scott Dixon won the 2014 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio after starting at the rear of the 22-car grid. He’ll have a considerably better starting position in the 90-lap race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course Aug. 2. Dixon reset the track lap record in the Firestone Fast Six segment of knockout qualifications on the way to earning the Verizon P1 Award for his second pole of the season and 23rd of his Indy car career, which ties Johnny Rutherford for 12th all time.
Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, recorded a best lap of 1:04.5814 in the 10-minute session. Track records also have been reset this season on the streets of St. Petersburg, Long Beach and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
The green flag for Round 14 of 16 of the Verizon IndyCar Series season flies at 2:07 p.m. ET. Watch it live on CNBC, and NBCSN will telecast a re-air at 6 p.m.
“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 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and enters the race third in the championship standings. “We can’t really race for the championship right now. We have to race for wins. It is hard with that mind-set when you get close. There are 200 and something points on the table. We’ve been strong all year, but we haven’t got the results that we wanted. We’ll see what we can do.”
Four different teams were represented in the Firestone Fast Six, and 11 drivers overall recorded laps quicker than the former record. Reigning Verizon IndyCar 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.
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.
Verizon IndyCar Series championship points leader Juan Pablo Montoya of Team Penske will start 10th in the No. 2 Hawk Performance Chevrolet.
“To be honest, it’s taken a lot of hard work by everyone on the team to get to where we are,” Montoya said. “We had a problem with the engine yesterday and lost almost an entire practice session. Since then we have just been behind. We’ve been trying to catch up and we improved a lot this morning. We were seventh in the morning session and qualified 10th. I just had a too much understeer in the first round and we didn’t adjust enough in the second round.”
Graham Rahal of New Albany, Ohio, who is 42 points behind in second place, will start 13th in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
“This going to hurt; we have a lot of work to do tomorrow,” said Rahal, who has finished first, third and fourth in the past three races to surge into contention for his first series title.
The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
** NOTE: Qualification results do not reflect grid penalties.
1. #9 – Scott Dixon (1:04.5814 – 125.869 MPH)
2. #1 – Will Power
3. #11 – Sebastien Bourdais
4. #3 – Helio Castroneves
5. #67 – Josef Newgarden
6. #83 – Charlie Kimball
7. #28 – Ryan Hunter-Reay
8. #10 – Tony Kanaan
9. #20 – Luca Filippi
10. #2 – Juan Pablo Montoya
11. #41 – Jack Hawksworth
12. #27 – Marco Andretti
13. #15 – Graham Rahal
14. #25 – Justin Wilson
15. #22 – Simon Pagenaud
16. #14 – Takuma Sato
17. #7 – James Jakes
18. #4 – Stefano Coletti (R)
19. #8 – Sage Karam (R)
20. #5 – Ryan Briscoe
21. #98 – Gabby Chaves (R)
22. 18 – Rodolfo Gonzalez (R)
23. #26 – Carlos Munoz
24. #19 – Tristan Vautier
Pursuant to Rule 18.104.22.168, Car 26 best two lap times invalidated in his session