IRL: Homestead: Honda Racing qualifying report

Buddy Rice Claims Homestead Pole for Honda Buddy Rice made his first qualifying run as a Honda driver in the Indy Racing League count, placing his Pioneer/Argent/Team Rahal machine on the pole for Sunday's 2004 season-opening IndyCar Series...

Buddy Rice Claims Homestead Pole for Honda

Buddy Rice made his first qualifying run as a Honda driver in the Indy Racing League count, placing his Pioneer/Argent/Team Rahal machine on the pole for Sunday's 2004 season-opening IndyCar Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway

It is the first IndyCar pole for former Atlantic series champion Rice, and also the first for Team Rahal since the team joined the IRL in 2003. It is Honda's fourth IndyCar pole, with Tony Kanaan starting from the pole on three occasions last year.

Three other Honda drivers posted top-five qualifying runs today, with Andretti Green Racing's Dario Franchitti posting the fourth fastest time, just ahead of teammate Bryan Herta. Kanaan will start tomorrow's 200-lap event from the outside of the fourth row.

Dan Wheldon rounded out the four-car Andretti Green Racing entry with a 14th-place qualifying run, with Access Motorsports owner/driver Greg Ray next in line. Rookie Kosuke Matsuura made his first single-car qualifying run for Super Aguri Fernandez Racing, and will make his IndyCar race debut Sunday from 18th in the field.

The first of 16 races making up the 2004 IRL IndyCar Series season receives the green flag at 2 p.m. Sunday, with live television coverage on ESPN.

Buddy Rice (#15 Pioneer/Argent Team Rahal Honda) pole qualifier, first IndyCar pole: "I couldn't ask for anything more, the whole team's done an excellent job preparing for the start of this season. Going into qualifying, we were pretty confident of running at least in the top five, but I didn't know we would post a big a number [speed] as we did in the end. It's an excellent way to start the season for myself and all of Team Rahal."

-honda-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Kosuke Matsuura