IRL: Indy 500: Honda Pole Day report

Hornish Claims Pole for the Indy 500 Quickest in nearly every practice session prior to qualifying, Marlboro Team Penske's Sam Hornish Jr. claimed his first Indianapolis 500 Pole in single-car qualifying Saturday...

Hornish Claims Pole for the Indy 500

Quickest in nearly every practice session prior to qualifying, Marlboro Team Penske's Sam Hornish Jr. claimed his first Indianapolis 500 Pole in single-car qualifying Saturday for the 90th Indianapolis 500.

Hornish's four-lap average speed of 228.985 mph was almost a full mile-per-hour quicker than teammate Helio Castroneves, who posted a 228.008 mph average. Defending race winner Dan Wheldon completes the first row of the 33-car starting field with an average speed of 227.338 mph.

A total of 32 drivers qualified today, a single-day record for the '500', as Honda supplies the entire IndyCar Series starting field for the first time. The field so far includes six former race winners and four rookies, with third-generation racer Marco Andretti leading the first-year race qualifiers. Andretti will start ninth, on the outside of the third row.

Activities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway continue on Sunday with final-day qualifying to complete the 33-car starting field and the potential to "bump" the slowest qualifiers from the grid. The 2006 Indianapolis 500 takes place on Sunday, May 28.

Robert Clarke (President, Honda Performance Development) on qualifying all 32 cars in one day: "Reflecting back, we've gone from being unable to qualify two cars for the race in 1995 to qualifying 32 cars, almost the full field, in a single day just 11 years later. We also had no engine-related failures today, just a change on Dario Franchitti's car when a gearbox problem let to an over-rev. It's quite an achievement for everyone at Honda Performance Development and our technical partners at Ilmor. We're proud of what's been accomplished this year, and looking forward to filling the field tomorrow and the race next Sunday."

-honda-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Dan Wheldon , Marco Andretti , Robert Clark , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske