IRL: Texas: Honda qualifying report

Patrick Qualifies Third in Texas Rookie Danica Patrick led the Honda effort in qualifying Thursday for the Bombardier Learjet 500 at Texas World Speedway, and will start third in the first Saturday-night race of the...

Patrick Qualifies Third in Texas

Rookie Danica Patrick led the Honda effort in qualifying Thursday for the Bombardier Learjet 500 at Texas World Speedway, and will start third in the first Saturday-night race of the 2005 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series.

Patrick, who qualified on the outside of the front row at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan and finished fourth and was named Rookie of the Year at the Indianapolis 500, will start on the inside of the second row, just ahead of her Rahal Letterman Racing teammates: fifth-starting Vitor Meira and Buddy Rice in seventh.

Andretti Green Racing's Dario Franchitti, starting sixth, and Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon in eighth gives Honda five of the top eight starting positions for Saturday's 500-kilometer run. Bryan Herta will line up 11th, with defending race winner and series champion Tony Kanaan 13th.

Fernandez Racing teammates Kosuke Matsuura and Scott Sharp also will line up nose-to-tail, in 14th and 16th, followed by Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's Roger Yasukawa in 18th.

IndyCar action continues Friday at Texas Motor Speedway with two more practice sessions, followed by a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event. Saturday's 200-lap race, the sixth round in the 17-race IRL season, begins at 8:30 p.m. EDT with live television coverage on ESPN.

Danica Patrick (#16 Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Rahal Letterman Racing Honda) third-fastest qualifier: "The team, as a whole, did a great job today. We all went faster every session. Maybe I just got a bit of a break with the wind to be the quickest of the three of us, but it could have just as easily gone the other way and then Vitor or Buddy would have been quicker. This is my first time at Texas Speedway, and I still have a lot to learn here. I really have to give credit to everyone else on the team, I had such a good package to start with, and that's the result of all of us working together."

-honda-

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Series INDYCAR