Firestone Fast Six Qualifying Report
IZOD IndyCar Series - Honda Indy 200
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course - Lexington, Ohio
Round 11 of 17
"Firestone Fast Six" Qualifying Results (mph): 1. Scott Dixon (119.405); 2. Ryan Briscoe (118.954); 3. Dario Franchitti (118.839); 4. Will Power (118.805); 5. Ryan Hunter-Reay (118.531); 6. Graham Rahal (118.250).
Firestone qualifying highlight: Scott Dixon claimed his first IndyCar Series pole since Motegi in September of 2009. Firestone is supplying new tread compounds for both its primary (black-sidewall) and alternate (red-sidewall) tire specifications this weekend, but every driver used only the redwall alternates in qualifying. All cars ran a set of new Firehawk alternates in the first two segments, with those in the Firestone Fast Six strapping back on a used set of alternates for the segment that decided the pole position.
Qualifying temperatures: Track temperatures ranged from 112°-100° F (44°-38° C) and ambient temperatures ranged from 86°-84° F (30°-29° C).
From pole winner Scott Dixon, #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "As soon as today started, we didn't change too many things on the car and it seemed as good as it was at the test here a week ago. We kind of just went through the motions, tried to make a few balance changes as the track gripped up. Obviously, the Firestone reds gave me a bit better back end on the car and we put some more front wing in it. The car was able to roll off those times and lucky enough it worked out to be the best one. Definitely for how the track is so low-grip, the red tires were fantastic. It made the balance a lot better and obviously the wear was very good, too. We were racking off times that were very close to each other, even with 12 or 15 laps (on the tires). So the consistency is there as well. They held up really well. I'm sure they'll degrade a little more than the blacks (in the race on a full stint), which they're supposed to do, but so far the consistency is very good."
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "Congratulations to Scott Dixon and the Target/Ganassi team for winning the pole today. It's hard to believe this is Scott's first in nearly two years, as competitive as he always is, but that just shows how tough it is in this series now. While it's not a totally new concept for Firestone Racing, Mid-Ohio is unique in that we run different tread compounds on the left and right sides of the car for our alternate tires. This is because the track layout has predominantly right-hand turns and the left-side tires are under more stress. So we put an even softer compound on the Firehawk right-side alternates to give all the drivers just a little extra grip, which is what they all tell us they want. As always, the management of tires and deciding when to use their primaries and alternates will be a key part of each driver's success in tomorrow's race. One thing for sure, we know the fans are going to see a very exciting race."