Hildebrand nails down Iowa pole

J.R. Hildebrand will start from the pole position at Iowa Speedway in what has turned out to be a one day event for the Indy Lights Series. Friday night's practice session was rained out and with qualifying in the books, the team have just under...

J.R. Hildebrand will start from the pole position at Iowa Speedway in what has turned out to be a one day event for the Indy Lights Series. Friday night's practice session was rained out and with qualifying in the books, the team have just under four and half hours to prepare for the race.

Hildebrand averaged 161.183 mph over two laps to earn his third pole of the season. With poles at St. Petersburg and Long Beach, this is Hildebrand's first on an oval track.

Wade Cunningham was the early favorite for the pole, posting the best lap in practice at 160.640 mph. Cunningham, driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, will start on the outside of the front row after qualifying at an average speed of 161.143 mph.

Hildebrand's AFS/Andretti Green Racing teammate, Sebastian Saveedra was on his way to the pole position after one lap but his second was a bit slower, placing him third on the grid.

Daniel Herrington, who drives for Bryan Herta Motorsports, earned his best starting position of the season, qualifying fourth at 160.903 mph.

James Hinchcliffe and Ana Beatriz fill out the third row. Both drivers compete for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

James Davison's put a solid first lap in the book, but the Australian driver spun coming off the final turn of his qualifying run and will start 17th. Miraculously, Davison didn't hit anything and after crossing the grass in the infield, he continued across the line, driving on a strip of pavement located next to the wall that separates the track from pit lane. Davison described his mishap with three words, "I lost it."

Although he crossed under the white line, a no-no in the Indy Racing League, Davison was not penalized. He will retain his starting position on the inside of the ninth row. Despite the spin and excursion through the grass, Davison's time was still a half second faster than that posted by Rodrigo Barbosa.

To Davison's credit, safety crews later discovered a weeper at the exact spot that Davison lost control. Two competitors qualified after Davison before safety crews reported to the track with a jet dryer. When asked if the weeper caused his spin, Davison responded, "I can't say for sure. It may have, but I'm not sure."

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Bryan Herta , Sam Schmidt , Wade Cunningham , James Davison , Daniel Herrington , James Hinchcliffe , J.R. Hildebrand , Ana Beatriz , Rodrigo Barbosa