A Front Row Start For Dixon At Long Beach

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Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon will start today’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach from the front row in second place in the No.9 NTT DATA Honda just behind Verizon P1 winner Helio Castroneves. Speaking about his run in qualifying, the Iceman stated:

Yeah, bit of a bummer there but congrats to Helio. It was a hell of a lap I think he put together there. The NTT Data car actually had a lot more grip than I expected and kind of caught me off guard I think. Once I felt it I tried to go beyond it a couple of times and just made too many mistakes I think on the qualifying run. I struggled a little bit this weekend on the red tires just with straight-out speed. Unfortunately, I think we are going to be running a lot of reds tomorrow but that’s the way it will work out. But I’m definitely confident in the fact we have a great race car here, all four Ganassi cars have been strong this weekend and hopefully we will see how it plays out.

Charlie Kimball in the No.83 Tresiba® Honda starts the race from seventh place and was disappointed to miss out on a place in Firestone Fast Six. Speaking following the session, Kimball commented by saying:

Obviously after yesterday I am really pleased to qualify seventh today. I think we made the car a lot better overnight which showed this morning. We were able to make some more improvements for qualifying, so pretty happy with that being within a hundredth of making the Firestone Fast Six is a new version of frustrating. I’m obviously pleased I think tomorrow we should have a good car, put together clean stops a clean race through the first couple laps, and settle into a rhythm. I know my guys will get the job done really well in pit lane we just have to put the laps together and get the fuel mileage we need and see where we end up at the end of the day.

Following electrical issues earlier in the day, Tony Kanaan in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda managed to put his car in 11th place for the race and speaking following qualifying he commented by saying:

Obviously after yesterday I am really pleased to qualify seventh today. I think we made the car a lot better overnight which showed this morning. We were able to make some more improvements for qualifying, so pretty happy with that being within a hundredth of making the Firestone Fast Six is a new version of frustrating. I’m obviously pleased I think tomorrow we should have a good car, put together clean stops a clean race through the first couple laps, and settle into a rhythm. I know my guys will get the job done really well in pit lane we just have to put the laps together and get the fuel mileage we need and see where we end up at the end of the day.

Max Chilton will start the race from 20th place in the No.8 Gallagher Honda and speaking following the session he commented by saying:

It’s been a challenging weekend so far. I know the past doesn’t predict the future, but we had a bad first practice and I said ‘Guys the street circuits, it’s always very hard once you’ve lost that momentum to get it back – you are always one step behind.’ I feel like I can drive well around here. We weren’t happy with the car after second practice so we changed a lot overnight and third practice was better. For qualifying, I was actually fairly happy with the car until I knew where I qualified and in my opinion, something wasn’t right. I felt like the job I did was on the limit without overdriving it and I was basically last. We’ve been good recently – we were P2 at Barber and P6 in Sonoma, so it doesn’t really add up to me and I think we have a bit of work to do there. Tomorrow this race is known for changing up a bit and now that they have added five laps there is a lot of fuel saving happening. If people save fuel we can just do the opposite of what the others are doing. As you saw last week, Bourdais started last in St Pete and won because he took a different strategy.

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