Iowa IndyCar: Scott Dixon leads Tony Kanaan on Ganassi front row
|By Mark Glendenning||Saturday, July 12th 2014, 00:08 GMT|
Scott Dixon will lead an all-Ganassi front row for Saturday night's IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway after dominating qualifying at the 7/8th mile track on Friday evening.
The Kiwi declared his intentions with a 182mph warm-up lap - faster than the qualifying averages of some of his rivals - and then unloaded two superb laps to finish at 186.256mph.
"We missed a bit on balance in practice and then got traffic, but we still ran a very respectable time, even having to lift a fair bit," Dixon said.
"So we knew the speed was going to be there, it was just a matter of whether the balance would be or not.
"Luckily, having TK [Tony Kanaan] and Ryan [Briscoe] go before us; they were able to tell us that the track was fairly understeery. So we put some front wing in, and the track was really good."
Until Dixon came along, Kanaan was the driver to beat. Despite the disadvantage of having been one of the first drivers to go out, meaning that he had to run on a track still blanketed with rubber left during the earlier NASCAR Truck qualifying session, he reeled off a two-lap average of 185.891mph that withstood 10 of his rivals before finally falling.
Ganassi was in contention for a 1-2-3 lockout of the top of the field until Penske's Helio Castroneves popped up in third towards the end of the session, relegating Briscoe to fourth.
Andretti's Carlos Munoz was quickest of the Honda-powered drivers in fifth; the rookie to start alongside KV's Sebastien Bourdais.
There was the normal scattering of usually-quick drivers having a bad day, including Andretti's Ryan Hunter-Reay, whose run was ruined by a wiggle through the final corner on his first flying lap, leaving him 13th.
But the greatest catastrophe was reserved for Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya, the practice pacesetter and last week's Pocono winner, who had an even bigger moment on the bump approaching Turn 2. He ended up 19th.
"It was a little tight/loose, like understeer then oversteer," Montoya told AUTOSPORT.
"I wanted to try to help the car rotate through the middle and... I thought I was hitting the wall. Normally it snaps and comes back, but this one snapped and then stayed there, and I'm going, 'Oh my God...'.
"I'm just glad the car's in one piece. Actually, I'm glad I'm in one piece."
Pos Driver Team/Engine Speed 1. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Chevy 186.256 2. Tony Kanaan Ganassi/Chevy 185.891 3. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy 185.685 4. Ryan Briscoe Ganassi/Chevy 185.339 5. Carlos Munoz Andretti/Honda 185.027 6. Sebastien Bourdais KV/Chevy 184.968 7. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Chevy 184.743 8. Marco Andretti Andretti/Honda 184.726 9. Will Power Penske/Chevy 184.683 10. Ed Carpenter Carpenter/Chevy 184.589 11. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda 184.380 12. Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt/Honda 184.316 13. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Honda 183.747 14. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Honda 183.348 15. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda 183.201 16. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda 183.089 17. Sebastian Saavedra KV/Chevy 183.083 18. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda 182.455 19. Juan Pablo Montoya Penske/Chevy 182.317 20. Jack Hawksworth Herta/Honda 181.243 21. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda 180.987 22. Carlos Huertas Coyne/Honda 177.849 Qualifying order set by average speed over two-lap run All drivers use Dallara chassis