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Old 15 Sep 2018, 08:20 pm
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Default Honda Racing: Hunter-Reay, Honda Snare Pole at Sonoma

This release contains: 1 Related Document, 1 Photo

  • Ryan Hunter-Reay leads all-Honda front row in Sonoma Raceway qualifying

  • Championship leader Scott Dixon to start second

  • Title contender Alexander Rossi qualifies sixth


Ryan Hunter-Reay led the way for Honda in qualifying action today at Sonoma Raceway, claiming the pole for Sunday's season finale – and championship deciding – INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma. 


Hunter-Reay led all three rounds of Verizon IndyCar Series "knockout" qualifying to claim his first pole at Sonoma Raceway, and his first IndyCar Series pole since the 2014 Grand Prix of Long Beach.


Scott Dixon, who came into the final race weekend leading the championship by 29 points (598-569) over Alexander Rossi, will start on the outside of the front row, second, as the veteran seeks his fifth career IndyCar Series drivers' championship for Chip Ganassi Racing.  Dixon's primary rival for the title, Rossi, will start sixth in his Andretti Autosport Honda.


Josef Newgarden and Will Power also remain mathematically in title contention.  The former advanced to the final "Fast Six" round and qualified third, while the latter will start seventh.


Former Sonoma winner Marco Andretti qualified fourth, his best qualifying effort since claiming the pole at Detroit in June and giving Honda four of the top six starting spots.  Sunday's 85-lap Drivers' Championship-deciding race starts at 6:30 p.m. EDT, live on the NBC Sports Network.


Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) pole qualifier, seventh career IndyCar Series pole, first pole since Long Beach 2014: "It was a shootout, right to the last minute. This #28 DHL Honda team did just such a good job putting a great car under me. It's nice to finally get the pole at Sonoma, because we've been knocking on the door for it for years. We just put our heads together and made a fast race car today. And yes, we would be in title contention today if we didn't have five DNFs [race retirements], but all-in-all, it's been a pretty positive season. We've been in contention everywhere we go, so hats off to these guys putting a great car under me, and I was able to put a lap together when it counted."


Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Qualified second, fourth front-row start of 2018: "I think we definitely had a shot to put the PNC Bank car on pole today, but we'll have to chalk that up to driver error. I had a lap going that would have gotten the pole, but I made a mistake and it cost us. Congrats to Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti [Autosport]. We've had a fast car all weekend here at Sonoma, and we've stayed at the pointy end of the field since we unloaded. Hopefully, that will continue in the race tomorrow and we can finish the season strong."


Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Qualified sixth: "I don't think going out on the [primary, harder-compound Firestone] 'Blacks' was the right call [for the final qualifying round].  But we were trying to stay aggressive, and capitalize in areas where we think we can. We decided to try something different and see where it got us. This race is 85 laps, so we'll make sure we build a good race car. I don't see us starting behind Dixon as that big an issue.  We just need to make sure we build a good race car and make sure we do the best job that we can and extract the most out of the #27. It will be difficult without the warm-up tomorrow. We'll make sure we make the right decisions to have a fast race car. We have really good teammates around us and in front of us, so we'll lean on them to help build a fast car for tomorrow."


Verizon IndyCar Series Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma
Circuit: Sonoma Raceway (2.385-mile road course), Sonoma, Calif.
2017 Winner: Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) 104.968 mph average
Weather: Sunny, mild, windy, 72 degrees F


Top-12 Qualifying Results:














































































































Ps.



Driver      



Team



Manufacturer



Best Time



Notes



  1.



Ryan Hunter-Reay



Andretti Autosport



Honda



1:17.6277



110.194 mph



  2.



Scott Dixon



Chip Ganassi Racing



Honda



1:17.7599



+0.1322 seconds



  3.



Josef Newgarden



Team Penske



Chevrolet



1:17.7937



Fast Six Final Qualifying



  4.



Marco Andretti



Andretti Autosport



Honda



1:17.7999



Fast Six Final Qualifying



  5.



Patricio O’Ward-R



Harding Racing



Chevrolet



1:17.9737



Fast Six Final Qualifying



  6.



Alexander Rossi



Andretti Autosport



Honda



1:18.0019



Fast Six Final Qualifying



  7.



Will Power



Team Penske



Chevrolet



1:17.6495



2nd Round Qualifying



  8.



Simon Pagenaud



Team Penske



Chevrolet



1:17.7489



2nd Round Qualifying



  9.



Graham Rahal



Rahal Letterman Lanigan



Honda



1:17.9043



2nd Round Qualifying



10.



Zach Veach-R



Andretti Autosport



Honda



1:17.9111



2nd Round Qualifying



11.



Sebastien Bourdais



DCR with Vasser-Sullivan     



Honda



1:17.9242



2nd Round Qualifying



12.



Takuma Sato



Rahal Letterman Lanigan



Honda



1:17.9919



2nd Round Qualifying



Other Honda Results






















































13.



Pietro Fittipaldi-R



Dale Coyne Racing                



Honda



1:18.5281



1st Round, Group 1



14.



Ed Jones



Chip Ganassi Racing            



Honda



1:18.5088



1st Round, Group 2



15.



James Hinchcliffe



Schmidt Peterson Motorsports



Honda



1:18.5740



1st Round, Group 1



16.



Jack Harvey-R



Meyer Shank Racing



Honda



1:18.5892



1st Round, Group 2



20.



Santino Ferrucci-R



Dale Coyne Racing                



Honda



1:18.6172



1st Round, Group 2



22.



Carlos Munoz



Schmidt Peterson Motorsports



Honda



1:18.7211



1st Round, Group 2



 


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