FORT WORTH, TX – This has been a dream season for Takuma Sato. The Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing driver currently sits fifth in the NTT IndyCar Series points standings and now will start Saturday’s DXC Technology 600 (8 p.m. ET/NBCSN/INDYCAR Radio Network) from the pole.
Sato, turned in a two-lap average of 220.250 mph in his No. 30 Honda which was good enough for his ninth career Indy Car pole and second of the 2019 season. The Japanese driver has been extremely quick this weekend with being second fastest on the speed charts in both practices run at the Texas Motor Speedway. He also finished third in the last superspeedway race at Indy two weeks ago.
Joining him on the front row is defending race winner Scott Dixon. The latest Indy Car winner on the season too, qualified his No. 9 Honda with a speed of 220.162 mph.
Two more Honda’s will share Row 2 with Sebastien Bourdais (219.746 mph) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (219.537 mph) starting third and fourth respectively.
Indy 500 champion Simon Pagenaud (219.355 mph) rounded out the top five in his No. 22 Chevrolet.
We saw a handful of issues in qualifying on Friday evening with Tony Kanaan getting into the Turn 2 SAFER barrier on his run. He was able to drive his No. 14 Chevrolet back to the pits but will be credited with a 22nd place starting spot.
Joining him on the last row will be Marco Andretti who had a big moment himself. Andretti, just turned in the fastest lap of the session but then had a bobble in Turn 1 and had to lift off the throttle in his No. 98 Honda. He’ll start 21st.
Honda’s Are Fast
Honda had the top three speeds in each of the two practice sessions including seven of the top nine in the first practice and seven of the fast eight in final practice on Friday afternoon. In qualifying, they’ll start 1-2-3-4 including taking nine of the top 12 starting spots overall.
Last year, Honda drivers took eight of the top nine finishing positions at Texas and led 163 of the 248 laps.
What’s Wrong With Power
Heading into the month of June, Will Power had 33 straight top 10 starting spots. The last three races, he has failed to qualify in the top 5 Rows, as Power rolls off 15th on Saturday night. It’s his worst starting position since 2015 (Milwaukee) and the first time since 2008 that he’s had three straight races of starting outside of the top 10.
Power, qualified 12th and 11th respectively in Belle Isle last week.
Championship Leaders All Over the Place
Our points leader Josef Newgarden qualified his No. 2 Chevrolet seventh. Alexander Rossi enters the race 15 points behind him but only qualified his No. 27 Honda 11th. See, Rossi was a pole favorite but will start outside of the top 10 now. Simon Pagenaud is third and starts fifth. Scott Dixon and Takuma Sato enter this weekend fourth and fifth respectively in the standings and will share the front row. Will Power is sixth in the standings but rolls off 15th. Ryan Hunter-Reay is seventh but starts fourth.
This could be a wide open points race leaving Texas.
DXC Technology 600 Starting Lineup
Row 1: Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon
Row 2: Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Hunter-Reay
Row 3: Simon Pagenaud, Spencer Pigot
Row 4: Josef Newgarden, James Hinchcliffe
Row 5: Graham Rahal, Colton Herta R
Row 6: Alexander Rossi, Zach Veach
Row 7: Ed Carpenter, Marcus Ericsson R
Row 8: Will Power, Felix Rosenqvist R
Row 9: Charlie Kimball, Santino Ferrucci R
Row 10: Conor Daly, Matheus Leist
Row 11: Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan