Honda’s top qualifier in 2005, with three poles to his credit, Bryan Herta led the way for the company in single-car qualifying Saturday at Pikes Peak International Raceway, and will start third in Sunday’s Honda Indy 225. Dario Franchitti, the defending race winner here, made it an all-Honda second row and will start fourth with a speed of 174.747 mph.
Weather conditions changed dramatically between practice and qualifying, with sunny skies and warm temperatures at the start of the day giving way to overcast and blustery conditions as qualifying approached. Always strong on the short ovals, Team Penske did best job of coping with the changing conditions, with teammates Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr. qualifying 1-2.
Fastest in the afternoon practice, rookie points leader Danica Patrick will start fifth for Rahal Letterman Racing, with defending series champion Tony Kanaan starting sixth for Andretti Green Racing after setting the pace in the morning practice.
Vitor Meira heads the second pack of Honda qualifiers, starting ninth with Scott Sharp, winner last week at Kentucky Speedway, 10th for Delphi Fernandez Racing. Series points leader Dan Wheldon and Buddy Rice make up the sixth row in 11th and 12th, with Roger Yasukawa starting 15th for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Super Aguri Fernandez Racing’s Kosuke Matsuura 16th.
Bryan Herta (#7 XM Satellite Radio Andretti Green Racing Honda) qualified third:
" The [weather] conditions were completely different in qualifying from practice earlier today. So everyone has to sort of ‘guess’ at the right [chassis] setup, especially the gearing. My guys did a real good job of guessing right today. It should be a good race for us tomorrow. I’m out of the championship fight, so now I’m just going for race wins."