Rice Continues To Roll, Scores Nashville Pole Buddy Rice continued his mid-season charge to the front of the Indy Racing League IndyCar title fight Friday at Nashville Speedway, taking his Rahal Letterman Racing Honda G-Force to an average...
Rice Continues To Roll, Scores Nashville Pole
Buddy Rice continued his mid-season charge to the front of the Indy Racing League IndyCar title fight Friday at Nashville Speedway, taking his Rahal Letterman Racing Honda G-Force to an average speed of 201.231 mph as he claimed the pole for Saturday's Firestone Indy 200.
Rice edged teammate Vitor Meira by just three-hundredths of a second to take his fourth pole of the season, and his second in a row. This year's Indianapolis 500 winner qualified on the pole and won two weeks ago at Kansas Speedway, and also was pole qualifier at Homestead, Florida and Indianapolis.
Andretti Green Racing teammates Bryan Herta, Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan gave Honda a sweep of the top five qualifying positions, with Dario Franchitti in the fourth AGR entry making it six Hondas out of the top seven. Seven races into the season, Kanaan continues to lead the points standings, with 275 to 247 for Wheldon. Rice came to Nashville third in the standings, with 225 points.
Teammates Adrian Fernandez and Kosuke Matsuura will start together on the seventh row, with owner/driver Fernandez posting the 13th fastest time, edging his rookie teammate by four-hundredths of a second. Another IndyCar rookie, Mark Taylor, makes his Honda-powered debut this weekend, and will start 18th in the Access Motorsports entry formerly driven by team co-owner Greg Ray. Taylor started six races earlier this year with Chevrolet-powered Panther Racing.
Buddy Rice (#15 Pioneer/Argent Rahal Letterman Racing Honda): pole qualifier, his 4th IndyCar pole this season and 7th pole for Honda: "Both Rahal Letterman Racing cars were quick all day today. I thought [teammate] Vitor [Meira] had a good shot at it, but we just nipped him in the end. He was the first car out, and we were the last, so maybe that was to our advantage just a little. Everything's just clicking right now for the whole team. We're running for the championship and chasing down those two AGR cars [Andretti Green Racing teammates Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon, currently 1-2 in the points]."