FT. WORTH, Texas June 7, 2013—Takuma Sato will line up 23rd for the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday night due to a technicality rather than being 23rd fastest.

Sato’s chance to qualify was taken away when the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda missed its place in the tech line prior to qualifying Friday afternoon.

By two minutes.

Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda
Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda

Photo by: Chris Owens

“We had a pretty big problem in the gearbox which took quite a bit of time to repair,” said Team Director Larry Foyt. “We actually quit practice early to get back to the garage and start on it. We got it completed but I guess we were two minutes too late trying to get over to the tech line. The guys worked hard and did the best they could but INDYCAR said we couldn’t qualify because we missed our tech time. With qualifying so close to practice, we weren’t able to fix it in time.”

In practice, a gearbox problem arose which the team declined to specify but it was serious enough that they cut their practice short and started on the repair as quickly as possible. Sato ran only 23 laps in practice and was 18th in the speed chart with a top speed of 213.5 mph at the 1.5 mile banked superspeedway.

Will Power won the Verizon P-1 Pole Award with a two lap average speed of 219.1mph—over two miles per hour quicker than his practice speed. Second through fifth were Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dario Franchitti and E.J. Viso.

Foyt Racing