INDYCAR: Showstopper; Dixon Blitzes Mid-Ohio, Sets New Track Record En Route to 23rd Career Pole

RaceChaser Staff Featured, Midwest, Sprints & Midgets, Verizon IndyCar Series 0 Comments

LEXINGTON, Ohio — official series release — Chris Jones/IndyCar photo —

Scott Dixon shattered a 16-year-old track record on the way to earning the Verizon P1 Award for Sunday’s 90-lap Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

This marks the fourth track record that has been broken during the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season, which in addition to Mid-Ohio includes events at St. Petersburg, Long Beach and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Dixon, who won at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2014 after starting at the rear of the 22-car grid, recorded a best lap of 1 minute, 4.5814 seconds (125.869 mph) during the Firestone Fast Six session.

The pole was Dixon’s second of the Verizon IndyCar Series season and the 23rd of his Indy car career — which ties him with three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford for 12th all time.

“The Target car at this track has obviously had a strong run here; I think 10 wins with Chip [Ganassi, team owner] and five with myself driving the (No.) 9,” Dixon said. “It’s a combination, but even on that lap I messed up in (Turn) 12 and again in (Turn) 2, so there’s definitely a bit of speed.”

“We waved off the last lap as well. Obviously Will (Power) came pretty close, so luckily we had a buffer there. I’ve got to thank my teammates, obviously Team Target has done a hell of a job all weekend, the car rolled off fantastically. It’s always great to be here at Mid-Ohio with so many fans. Turns 4 and 5 have been packed over there already, which is fantastic to see.”

A total of 11 drivers posted laps faster than the previous track record (1:05.347) set by Dario Franchitti in 1999 and matched by Gil de Ferran in 2000. But no one could catch Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

“It’s great that the Target car has a lot of speed, but as you saw last year with us winning from the last row, that anything can happen,” added Dixon, who has won five of the past eight Verizon IndyCar Series races on Mid-Ohio’s 2.258-mile permanent road course.

The green flag for Round 14 of 16 of the Verizon IndyCar Series season will be broadcast live on CNBC, with coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Reigning series champion Will Power, driving the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, will join Dixon on the front row after posting a best lap of 1:04.6782.

Sebastien Bourdais, the pole sitter for the 2014 race at Mid-Ohio, and Helio Castroneves will be on Row 2. Josef Newgarden, a two-time winner this season, and Charlie Kimball, who won at Mid-Ohio in 2013, will share Row 3.

Verizon IndyCar Series championship points leader Juan Pablo Montoya of Team Penske will start 10th in the No. 2 Hawk Performance Chevrolet. Graham Rahal of New Albany, Ohio, who is 42 points behind Montoya in second place, will start 13th in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.


RESULTS: Verizon IndyCar Series; Firestone Pole Qualifying; Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course; August 1, 2015

1.  (9) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 01:04.5814 (125.869)
2.  (1) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:04.6782 (125.681)
3.  (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 01:04.9965 (125.065)
4.  (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 01:05.0625 (124.938)
5.  (67) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:05.0728 (124.919)
6.  (83) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 01:05.0784 (124.908)
7.  (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 01:05.0455 (124.971)
8.  (10) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 01:05.0647 (124.934)
9.  (20) Luca Filippi, Chevrolet, 01:05.1616 (124.748)
10.  (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 01:05.2081 (124.659)
11.  (41) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 01:05.2291 (124.619)
12.  (27) Marco Andretti, Honda, 01:05.3931 (124.307)
13.  (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:05.9650 (123.229)
14.  (25) Justin Wilson, Honda, 01:05.5886 (123.936)
15.  (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 01:05.9877 (123.187)
16.  (14) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:05.5933 (123.927)
17.  (7) James Jakes, Honda, 01:06.0671 (123.039)
18.  (4) Stefano Coletti, Chevrolet, 01:05.6204 (123.876)
19.  (8) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 01:06.0688 (123.035)
20.  (5) Ryan Briscoe, Honda, 01:05.7053 (123.716)
21.  (98) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 01:06.2195 (122.755)
22.  (18) Rodolfo Gonzalez, Honda, 01:05.9698 (123.220)
23.  (26) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 01:06.9891 (121.345)
24.  (19) Tristan Vautier, Honda, 01:06.0814 (123.012)

CREDIT: IndyCar Communications

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