Defending IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon has finally had some luck fall his way after claiming pole position for Saturday’s championship round at the 0.875-mile Iowa Speedway.
With just a single podium finish to-date, the New Zealander has had a rather torrid title defence and will be hoping that he can reinvigorate his championship campaign with a solid race result around the short oval circuit.
After the Penske entries of Will Power and Juan Pablo Montoya had locked out top spots in preceding practice sessions, Dixon unearthed a two-lap qualifying average speed of 186.256mph (299.75km/h) to break the circuit’s qualifying record. Chip Ganassi teammate Tony Kanaan will start alongside him on the front row.
Former champion Hélio Castroneves starts on the second row of the grid. The improving Ryan Briscoe qualified fourth, and with Charlie Kimball seventh-fastest, all four Chip Ganassi entries qualified on the first four rows of the grid. The Andretti entries of Carlos Muñoz and Marco Andretti qualified inside the top-eight, with Sébastien Bourdais an impressive sixth-fastest.
Series leader Will Power was the first runner on track and clocked a two-lap average of 184.683mph (297.22km/h), but he ultimately slide down the timesheets to ninth. Montoya, a winner last weekend at Pocono Raceway, was a lowly nineteenth and will have plenty of work to do to get himself towards the sharp end of the field in the 300-lap race.
Saturday’s race gets underway at 7:50pm local time (UTC -5:00).
2014 IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 – Final Qualifying:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Avg. Speed|
|1.||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet||186.256mph|
|2.||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet||185.891mph|
|3.||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske Chevrolet||185.685mph|
|4.||Ryan Briscoe||Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet||185.339mph|
|5.||Carlos Muñoz||Andretti Autosport Honda||185.027mph|
|6.||Sébastien Bourdais||KV Racing Technology Honda||184.968mph|
|7.||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet||184.743mph|
|8.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport Honda||184.726mph|
|9.||Will Power||Team Penske Chevrolet||184.683mph|
|10.||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet||184.589mph|
|11.||Simon Pagenaud||Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda||184.380mph|
|12.||Mikhail Aleshin||Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda||184.316mph|
|13.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport Honda||183.747mph|
|14.||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Autosport Honda||183.348mph|
|15.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda||183.201mph|
|16.||Takuma Sato||A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda||183.089mph|
|17.||Sebastián Saavedra||KV Racing Technology / AFS Racing Honda||183.083mph|
|18.||Justin Wilson||Dale Coyne Racing Honda||182.455mph|
|19.||Juan Pablo Montoya||Team Penske Chevrolet||182.317mph|
|20.||Jack Hawksworth||Bryan Herta Autosport Honda||181.243mph|
|21.||Josef Newgarden||Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda||180.987mph|
|22.||Carlos Huertas||Dale Coyne Racing Honda||177.849mph|
Image via USA Today