Texas IndyCar: Takuma Sato takes pole for Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Takuma Sato claimed his second pole position of the 2019 IndyCar Series season in qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver, who won from pole at Barber Motorsports Park two months ago, produced a two-lap average of 220.250mph.

Thursday practice pacesetter and reigning champion Scott Dixon’s first lap put him on course to depose Sato, but he faded to end up 0.088mph adrift as he put his Ganassi car on the outside of the front row.

Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais had a prolonged spell on provisional pole when the session was briefly paused for drizzle.

He still qualified third for his first top three start since last May’s Indianapolis road course race.

Ryan Hunter-Reay completed an all-Honda-powered top four in the fastest of the Andretti Autosport cars.

Simon Pagenaud was top Chevrolet runner in fifth for Penske. His team-mates Josef Newgarden and Will Power line up seventh and 15th respectively for Saturday night’s race.

Spencer Pigot will start between Pagenaud and Newgarden in sixth for Ed Carpenter Racing.

Colton Herta had been fastest in the Friday practice session but drew an early spot in the qualifying running order and could only manage 10th on the grid behind James Hinchcliffe and Graham Rahal.

Title contender Alexander Rossi, who is 15 points behind championship leader Newgarden following last week’s Detroit double-header, qualified 11th, while rookies Marcus Ericsson and Felix Rosenqvist will start 14th and 16th respectively.

In his first start with Carlin since the 2011 GP3 season, Max Chilton’s oval race replacement Conor Daly took 19th on the grid – two places behind team-mate Charlie Kimball.

The back row is filled by two veterans who had incidents on their qualifying runs.

Marco Andretti managed to catch a wild series of twitches without crashing, but the lost momentum consigned him to a very slow run and 21st on the grid.

He is joined at the back by Tony Kanaan, who had a glancing blow with the wall on the exit of Turn 2 and abandoned his run.

Qualifying result

Pos Driver Team Car Speed
1 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 220.250
2 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 220.162
3 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 219.746
4 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 219.537
5 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 219.355
6 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 219.099
7 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 218.666
8 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 218.459
9 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 218.449
10 Colton Herta Harding Racing Dallara/Honda 218.406
11 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 218.295
12 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 218.074
13 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 217.982
14 Marcus Ericsson Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 217.953
15 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 217.899
16 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 217.182
17 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 217.165
18 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 217.063
19 Conor Daly Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 216.175
20 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 215.093
21 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 206.901
22 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 0.000

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