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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