IndyCar > 2006 Round 03: Twin Ring MOTEGI > Qualifying
INDYJapanApril 21, 2006
IRL IndyCar Series
Round 03: Twin Ring MOTEGI, Japan Qualifying
Rain Wipes Out Qualifying in Japan Race Results >>

Helio Castroneves will start Saturday’s Indy Japan 300 from the pole position as rain washed out IndyCar Series qualifying Friday at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, and Indy Racing League officials elected to set the 20-car starting field based on team entrant points earned in the first two races this season.

Marlboro Team Penske’s Castroneves, winner of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and second at the season-opening race in Homestead, Florida, thus earns the top starting position. Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon will start second, followed by teammate (and Homestead race winner) Dan Wheldon and Sam Hornish Jr. in the second Team Penske entry.

Tony Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar Series champion, and local favorite Kosuke Matsuura will share the third row in the fifth and sixth starting positions, followed by Bryan Herta and Scott Sharp, who round out the top eight starters.

Despite the lack of qualifying, the IRL did manage to run a 90-minute final practice session on Friday afternoon, with Castroneves again fastest at 201.574 mph. Wheldon, Sharp, 2004 Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice and Matsuura completed the top five in the final practice prior to the race.

Saturday’s 200-lap Indy Japan 300, the third round of the 14-race 2006 IndyCar season, starts at 1 p.m. locally in Japan, with television coverage in the USA on ESPN starting at noon, EDT.

IRL IndyCar Series
Round 03: Twin Ring MOTEGI, Japan Starting Grid (based on entrant points)
1 Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Team Penske)
2 Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing)
3 Dan Wheldon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing)
4 Sam Hornish Jr. (Marlboro Team Penske)
5 Tony Kanaan (Andretti Green Racing)
6 Kosuke Matsuura (Super Aguri Fernandez Racing)
7 Bryan Herta (Andretti Green Racing)
8 Scott Sharp (Delphi Fernandez Racing)
9 Felipe Giaffone (A.J. Foyt Enterprises)
10 Dario Franchitti (Andretti Green Racing)
11 Vitor Meira (Panther Racing)
12 Tomas Scheckter (Vision Racing)
13 Tomas Enge (Cheever Racing)
14 Danica Patrick (Rahal Letterman Racing)
15 Buddy Lazier (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing)
16 P.J.Chesson (Hemelgarn Racing)
17 Marco Andretti (Andretti Green Racing)
18 Buddy Rice (Rahal Letterman Racing)
19 Ed Carpenter (Vision Racing)
20 Jeff Simmons (Rahal Letterman Racing)

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