- Three-time Iowa race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay leads Honda qualifying effort
- Alexander Rossi, Scott Dixon complete third row of starting grid
- Honda drivers claim six of top 10 qualifying spots
Already a three-time winner at Iowa Speedway, Ryan Hunter-Reay led the Honda field in qualifying today for Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300. Hunter-Reay will start on the inside of the second row, third, as the Andretti Autosport driver seeks to add another Verizon IndyCar Series trophy to the wins he scored in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
Hunter-Reay’s teammate, Alexander Rossi, qualified fifth for what will be his third race start at the Iowa Speedway short oval, while Drivers’ Championship points leader, Scott Dixon, will line up sixth. Dixon currently holds a 393-348 edge over fellow Honda drivers Hunter-Reay and Rossi in the battle for the drivers’ title, after 10 of 17 races.
In his first visit to the 0.894-mile Iowa oval, Robert Wickens will start seventh for Honda and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, with Ed Jones eighth in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Takuma Sato rounds out the top 10 for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Honda.
Sunday’s 300-lap race, the second short-oval race of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, starts at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage on the NBC Sports Network.
Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) Qualified 3rd: “We just missed [the setup for qualifying] a little bit, but a good job by the team. The car was decent. We got a little bit light [on downforce] overall. I couldn’t commit to full throttle leaving the corner, [there was] just a bit too much understeer. It’s unfortunate to not be on pole, but when we miss it and we are still starting third, it’s not too bad. Tomorrow is where all the points are paid, and I think we can get the DHL team a fourth Iowa Corn 300 win.”
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Championship points leader, Qualified 6th: “I think last year we qualified around 17th or 18th here, so I’m much happier this time around. We didn’t get to test here like several of the other teams, so we were kind of the ‘best of the rest’ who didn’t test here, in the PNC Bank car today. But it’s not bad at all. We have a really good race car and that’s pretty much what we worked on this morning, and what we’ll focus in on again for tonight [in final practice].”
Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300
Circuit: Iowa Speedway (0.894-mile oval) Newton, Iowa
2017 Winner: Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) 139.172 mph average
Weather: Sunny, warm, 79 degrees F
Top-10 Qualifying Results:
|1.||Will Power||Team Penske||Chevrolet||182.391|
|2.||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Chevrolet||181.160|
|3.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Honda||180.681|
|4.||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Chevrolet||180.313|
|5.||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||Honda||179.801|
|6.||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||179.526|
|7.||Robert Wickens-R||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Honda||178.883|
|8.||Ed Jones||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||178.720|
|9.||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||178.717|
|10.||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Honda||178.708|
Other Honda Results
|11.||James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Honda||178.478|
|12.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Honda||178.410|
|14.||Zach Veach-R||Andretti Autosport||Honda||177.809|
|15.||Sebastien Bourdais||DCR with Vasser-Sullivan||Honda||177.681|
|19.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||Honda||174.548|
|20.||Zachary Claman De Melo-R||Dale Coyne Racing||Honda||174.339|