Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato says he is really happy after winning the Verizon P1 Award in his No.26 Expedite Home Loans Honda for Andretti Autosport for Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.
It is the second pole of the season for Sato, however there was disappointment for the team too and shock following Ryan Hunter Reay’s huge crash during qualifying and speaking about the accident, Sato said:
Yes, it made me nervous. “Ryan and I share a lot of philosophy and setup. What happens to him is what could happen to me, too.
“Basically, (my) engineer just went through (as much) data as possible at that particular moment and we backed off a little bit (of) front wing to a little bit secure the rear. … I got a good feeling on that warmup lap and I couldn’t believe it.
“Obviously, the engineers and guys did an incredible job. What an incredible achievement for Andretti Autosport.
Alexander Rossi in the No.98 MilitaryToMotorsports.com/Curb Honda had a fantastic session as he will start the race from sixth place and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
I had a lot more understeer [in qualifying] than this morning in practice. I was prepared for it, but it really took off in turn 1 on lap 1 so I was actually fortunate to not be in a worse situation. Once we made adjustments inside the car everything was fine, so it was an opportunity missed for sure. At the end of my run I think we had the fastest single lap, which is some sort of consolation prize. Right now, I think we are competitive. I had a feeling an Andretti Autosport car had a good shot at being on pole, and that’s what happened. Thoughts are with Ryan [Hunter-Reay] right now and hope he gets the all clear to come back tomorrow. I know we have a fast race car, so we’ll see what happens.
Marco Andretti in the No.27 United Fiber and Data Honda will start the race from 16th place and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
Unfortunately, I knew the incident with Ryan [Hunter-Reay] was going to happen. I almost crashed in Turn 2, which is supposed to be almost like a straight away to us. Unfortunately, on the out lap my car basically told me that the run was over. I just had to nurse it home instead of trying. I almost crashed in the warm up lap and I wasn’t even pushing. We missed it. Track [temperature] really effects our car which is not great. The race is 500 miles, it is completely different. If we aren’t going to be on pole, I don’t really care where we start. We went for pole so you can’t really hate us for that, but we missed it bigger than we thought we were going to. Right now, just obviously hope that the Ryan [Hunter-Reay] is alright.
Ryan Hunter Reay did set a time following a violent crash on his first run.