Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon in the No.9 NTT DATA Honda goes into Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series title showdown at Sonoma Raceway starting the race from sixth place and with all of his championship rivals starting ahead of him it is going to be a tough day at the office but the Iceman is looking forward to attempting to win his fifth Verizon IndyCar Series championship.
Dixon set a qualifying lap of 01:16.397s and goes into the race four points behind series leader Josef Newgarden after the Penske driver claimed a bonus point for taking the pole position.
Speaking following the session, Dixon who was second in the final practice session commented by saying:
I think the air temperature change might have thrown us off a bit. The NTT DATA car was good this morning but then we just didn’t have the grip. We were lucky to find a few things and scrape through the qualifying rounds. I actually made a big mistake in turn 3 that costed us some time but I don’t think it would have put us close to the top, maybe just up one more position. I think we’re the best of the rest today but the race is tomorrow and there is a lot that can happen between the start and the checkered flag. I’m looking forward to it.
Dixon is the only driver to have made it into the Firestone Fast 6 in every race this season. Tony Kanaan in his last qualifying session for Chip Ganassi Racing made it into the Firestone Fast 12 and will start the race from 12th place on the grid in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda.
Speaking following the session, the Brazilian commented by saying:
I think we’re just still pretty far off from where we need to be to make sure we’re competitive this weekend. We barely made it out of the first round and we tried a setup change in the second round that obviously didn’t work for us. I guess the silver lining here is that we learned something from that setup change we made during qualifying that we can definitely use in the race tomorrow.
Max Chilton in the No.8 Gallagher Honda starts the race from 13th place and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
It’s going to be hard to get forward from where we’re starting but we’ll do our best in the Gallagher car and work together as a team. Scott managed to do it here in 2015 and get the job done so I’m sure we can do it again. On the No. 8 car we’ve been struggling but have been making gains each session. I felt that was one of my best qualifying sessions of the year and I was happy with the job I did. Sometimes you’re just fighting a losing battle with the amount of downforce you’re carrying. Hopefully we can move forward and have a good race and Scott is spraying champagne at the end of the day for the Ganassi team.
Charlie Kimball in the No.83 Tresiba® Honda starts the race from 14th place and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
We made some changes that were in the wrong direction today for qualifying. We’ll definitely have to unwind some of those tomorrow for the warmup session and the race. Scott made it through to the top six, so that’s good for Chip Ganassi Racing. We’ll look at what he was able to do in qualifying and try to learn from his data. I just wasn’t able to get the lap time I needed out of the Tresiba Honda today. It’s always tough when you know you want to be going quicker than the lap times you’re doing, but we’ll figure it out and be ready for tomorrow.