Motegi: Honda Racing qualifying report

Dixon Storms to Motegi Pole The final driver to make a qualifying run Friday at Twin Ring Motegi, Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon topped the IndyCar Series field by just over 0.5 mph to claim the pole for the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300.

Dixon Storms to Motegi Pole

The final driver to make a qualifying run Friday at Twin Ring Motegi, Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon topped the IndyCar Series field by just over 0.5 mph to claim the pole for the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300. It is Dixon's second pole at the Honda-owned Motegi circuit, and it earned him one more championship point as he attempts to catch series leaders Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti with just two races remaining in the 2009 championship.

Mario Moraes made the most of his first visit to Motegi, and will start from the outside of the front row after qualifying second for KV Racing Technology, his best qualifying effort since joining the IndyCar Series in 2008. Remaining championship contenders Franchitti and Briscoe will start from the second row after qualifying third and fourth, respectively.

Local favorite Hideki Mutoh crashed in Turn 3 during his qualifying attempt, but escaped serious injury. Helio Castroneves, the winner here in 2006, also crashed without injury, hitting the wall exiting Turn 4 while making his qualifying run. Both are expected to start the race at the rear of the field in their backup cars. This weekend's 200-lap race, the penultimate round in the 2009 IndyCar season, starts Friday at 10:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on Versus.

Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) pole qualifier, his second pole of 2009 and fifteeth career IndyCar pole: "Boy, going out last, plus the delays, made for a long [qualifying] session. I even napped for a bit while sitting in the car, waiting. Mario [Moraes] put up some pretty impressive numbers, but we've got a really fast car this weekend and I knew after the first lap that we were in pretty good shape. One point [for the pole] is nice, but we've still got a way to go to catch Ryan [Briscoe] and Dario [Franchitti]. We'll give it our best shot tomorrow and see how things play out."

-credit: honda racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Mario Moraes , Hideki Mutoh
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing