Ganassi sweeps the front row at Iowa

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Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan will share the front row for the IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing swept the front row for tomorrow’s Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway as Scott Dixon earned the team’s first pole position of the year.  Dixon sped around the .875 mile track with a lap of 186.286 mph, outpacing teammate Tony Kanaan.

Dixon had a fast car all weekend before qualifying and was complimentary about his setup.

“I think we had a bit of a tough test here a few weeks ago with the settings on the car, so coming back and having the car set properly, [it] has been a dream to drive,” Dixon said.

Starting third is Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves.  Castroneves had a car that was very out of shape in the morning practice session.

“The only thing the car didn’t have was stability, so thank God for qualifying it was better,” Castroneves admitted.

However, the team got Castroneves’s car to work for him later in the day.

“We changed a lot, hopefully what we did in the car seems to be a little bit better, I felt pretty confident, especially on the second lap,” Castroneves said.

Fellow Ganassi driver Ryan Briscoe will line up fourth on the grid.  Briscoe didn’t note many changes to the track from the morning to the afternoon running, but it might have helped that he went out ninth in the order.

“The big thing is the wind has died down, so it’s making it a fair bit easier without the wind.  We haven’t had a chance to rubber in the track so I don’t think the track itself has changed very much all day, it’s just the wind has been a bit inconsistent,” Briscoe said.

The biggest surprise was Sebastien Bourdais.  After ending both the first and second practice sessions in 18th place, the Le Mans native qualified sixth fastest after having a very loose car in practice this morning.

“This morning, the car was very very free, so we made a couple of mechanical changes which helped, and hurt a little bit for qualifying,” Bourdais said.

First man out Will Power wound up ninth quickest and had issues with the track conditions.

“The worst thing about today is going out first, with the truck rubber,” Power said.

The Camping World Truck Series is also racing this weekend, so the mix of Goodyear and Firestone rubber ultimately proved problematic for the first three qualifiers, as second man out James Hinchcliffe qualified 14th and third man out Simon Pagenaud qualified 11th, which was actually big improvement over his time in the second session.

“It was certainly loose on exit, a little bit of understeer on entry, so we had to force the car a little bit down, but I think it was all right, that’s all we had with the track the way it was,” Pagenaud said about how his car was in practice earlier today.

The green flag for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 is tomorrow evening at 7:45 CT.

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About this article
Series INDYCAR
Event Iowa
Track Iowa Speedway
Drivers Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan
Article type Qualifying report
Tags ganassi, qualifying