Castroneves Claims Mid-Ohio Pole Team Penske's Helio Castroneves just scraped into the Firestone "Fast Six" qualifying shootout Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but made the most of the opportunity by claiming the IndyCar Series...
Castroneves Claims Mid-Ohio Pole
Team Penske's Helio Castroneves just scraped into the Firestone "Fast Six" qualifying shootout Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but made the most of the opportunity by claiming the IndyCar Series pole for Sunday's Honda Indy 200.
Castroneves posted the sixth-fastest time in single-car qualifying, putting him into the 10-minute group qualifying "shootout" along with all four Andretti Green Racing drivers and Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon. He then jumped to the top of the charts in the opening minutes of the group session and was never headed.
Danica Patrick produced her career best street/road course qualifying effort to run second, with her Andretti Green teammates Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti and Dario Franchitti slotting in third, fourth and fifth. Dixon, winner of the last two IndyCar races, completed the top six qualifiers.
Although they didn't make the top six, Darren Manning and Buddy Rice continued to stand out at Mid-Ohio, qualifying eighth and ninth, respectively, for A.J. Foyt Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. Making his IndyCar Series debut this weekend, rookie Ryan Hunter-Reay rounds out the top 10 qualifiers for Rahal Letterman Racing.
Sunday's 85-lap race, the last of five consecutive mid-summer race weekends in 2007, starts at 1:30 p.m. EDT (pending the conclusion of the British Open golf tournament), with live television coverage on ABC.
Helio Castroneves (#3 Team Penske Honda) pole qualifier, record-tying sixth IndyCar pole of 2007 (ties record set by Billy Boar in 1998), 22nd career IndyCar pole: "It's so tough to find time at this track, I've been driving the wheels off my car all weekend long. We struggled a bit yesterday, and even this morning. But my team never gave up, and I never gave up. We kept making changes every session, right up through qualifying, and now we have the pole. It's a great reward for all that work, and I have to thank the team. Tomorrow is going to be very difficult, it will be a very physical race. The best place to start is from the front, and we accomplished that goal today."
-credit: honda racing