Front Row Start for Honda, Scott Dixon at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Qualifying Report

3/11/2017 10:24:00 PM

  • Dixon, James Hinchcliffe lead qualifying effort for Honda
  • Three Honda teams, four drivers reach "Firestone Fast Six" final qualifying shootout
  • 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series opens Sunday

Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon again led the Honda effort Saturday at the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, advancing to the "Firestone Fast Six" final qualifying round.  Dixon will start Sunday's Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg from the outside of the front row, second.

In all, three Honda Verizon IndyCar Series teams advanced through two rounds of "knockout" qualifying to make the final, led by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe, who will start third.  In his first race with Andretti Autosport, veteran Takuma Sato qualified fifth, with Dixon's teammate Tony Kanaan rounding out the top six.

Honda drivers also dominated second-round qualifying.  Max Chilton, making his second start at St. Petersburg for Chip Ganassi Racing, will start seventh, followed by defending Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi, Charlie Kimball and Graham Rahal rounding out the top 10.

Sunday's 110-lap season-opening race starts at 12:30 p.m. EDT, with live network television coverage on ABC.

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Qualified 2nd: "That was just on me, unfortunately. We have a super-fast car and should have been on pole. I just messed up a little on my fastest lap there. I'm obviously disappointed, but the team has four fast cars. We're working together great with Honda and I can't wait to start the race tomorrow. Hopefully we'll have the GE car up front when it counts."

Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Circuit:       Bayfront Park (1.8-mile temporary street circuit), St. Petersburg, FL
Weather:    Sunny, warm, 81 degrees


Top 12 Qualifying Results:

Ps. Driver Team Manufacturer Best Time Average Speed/Notes
  1. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 1:01.0640 106.118 mph average
  2. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:01.2219 +0.157 seconds
  3. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:01.3039 Fast Six Final Qualifying
  4. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 1:01.7229 Fast Six Final Qualifying
  5. Takuma Sato Andretti Autosport  Honda 1:01.9851 Fast Six Final Qualifying
  6. Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing              Honda 1:02.0824 Fast Six Final Qualifying
  7. Max Chilton Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:01.3516 2nd Round Qualifying
  8. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport  Honda 1:01.5198 2nd Round Qualifying
  9. Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:01.6066 2nd Round Qualifying
10. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:01.6181 2nd Round Qualifying
11 Carlos Munoz A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 1:01.7399 2nd Round Qualifying
12. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 1:03.1588 2nd Round Qualifying

Other Honda-powered Results: 

15. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 1:01.6070 1st Round, Group 1
17. Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:01.7674 1st Round, Group 1
18. Ed Jones-R Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda 1:01.7598 1st Round, Group 2
21. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda No speed 1st Round, Contact


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