Patrick Claims Her First IndyCar Pole at Kansas Breakout star Danica Patrick led a Rahal Letterman Racing 1-2-3 sweep of qualifying Saturday for the Argent Mortgage Indy 300, claiming her first Indy Racing League IndyCar Series...
Patrick Claims Her First IndyCar Pole at Kansas
Breakout star Danica Patrick led a Rahal Letterman Racing 1-2-3 sweep of qualifying Saturday for the Argent Mortgage Indy 300, claiming her first Indy Racing League IndyCar Series pole position, with teammates Buddy Rice and Vitor Meira starting second and third, respectively.
Rice won last year's race here at Kansas Speedway for team and race-sponsor Argent, with teammate Meira just five-thousandths of a second behind in a photo finish. Now expanded to a three-car operation with the addition of Patrick, the team proved it had lost none of its prowess on the IRL's super speedways [tracks 1.5 miles and larger] making Patrick the second female driver in IndyCar history to qualify on pole. Former IRL driver Sarah Fisher qualified on the pole at Kentucky Speedway in 2002.
Dario Franchitti led the four-car Andretti Green Racing effort with the sixth-fastest speed in qualifying, with teammate Tony Kanaan eighth. Scott Sharp was ninth fastest for Delphi Fernandez Racing, while Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon will start 13th. Kosuke Matsuura qualified 15th for Super Aguri Fernandez Racing, followed by Bryan Herta in 16th and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's Roger Yasukawa, 17th.
Sunday's 200-lap race, the eighth round in the 17-race IRL season, begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT with live television coverage on ESPN.
Danica Patrick (#16 Argent/Pioneer Rahal Letterman Racing Honda) pole qualifier, her first IndyCar pole, Honda's fourth pole of 2005: "We did our homework in the morning practice -- all three of us -- and you can see the result [Rahal Letterman drivers qualifying 1-2-3]. The car was slightly better in qualifying than in practice, and that's what you shoot for. As a team, we're very strong on the 'big' tracks, and we proved that again today. It feels very satisfying to have my first pole. I'm very proud of the entire team, and how hard they've worked this weekend, and all season long."