(This story will be updated with driver reaction.)
FORT WORTH, Texas – Takuma Sato sped to his ninth career NTT IndyCar series pole position and first at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, earning the right to lead the field to the green flag in Saturday’s DXC Technology 600.
Sato averaged 220.250 mph over two laps on the high-banked 1.5-mile oval to claim the NTT P1 Award. The driver of the No. 30 ABeam Consulting Honda collected his second pole of the 2019 season – following Barber Motorsports Park in April – and third of his career on an oval (Iowa in 2011, Pocono in 2017).
DXC TECHNOLOGY 600: Unofficial qualifying results
Scott Dixon, the defending Texas race winner and reigning series champion, will start alongside Sato on the front row. Dixon was second fastest in qualifying with two-lap average of 220.162 mph in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Dixon fell short of winning the pole be less than 0.02 of a second over the three-mile run.
Honda-powered cars locked up the top four spots in qualifying. Sebastien Bourdais qualified third in the No. 18 SealMaster Honda (219.746 mph), with Ryan Hunter-Reay fourth in the No. 28 DHL Honda (219.537 mph).
Simon Pagenaud led the Chevrolet brigade in qualifying. The pole sitter and winner of the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge two weeks ago was fifth fastest at 219.355 mph in the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet. Spencer Pigot was sixth in the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy (219.099 mph).
Tony Kanaan, a winner at Texas in his 2004 NTT IndyCar Series championship season, brushed the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier on the first lap of his attempt and did not register a speed in the No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet. The nine-time podium finisher at Texas will start last in the 22-car field, when he is slated to tie team owner A.J. Foyt for second all time in Indy car starts with 369.
Marco Andretti made a sensational save on the second lap of his run, avoiding the wall, but he qualified 21st in the No. 98 U.S. Concrete/Curb Honda (206.901 mph).
Saturday’s 248-lap race will be the 31st for the NTT IndyCar Series at Texas Motor Speedway since the facility opened in 1997. Live coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, with the green flag expected to wave at 8:45 p.m.