Scott Dixon continued to be the man to beat on road courses this season, qualifying on the pole for Sunday’s Infineon Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. Dixon also was the pacesetter in Friday practice at the 2.26-mile northern California road course, and won the previous IndyCar road race this season at Watkins Glen in New York.
Marco Andretti, who could clinch Rookie of the Year honors tomorrow with a strong finish, helped his cause by qualifying second. Helio Castroneves will start on the inside of the second row in third place, with defending race champion Tony Kanaan alongside in fourth. Of the remaining championship contenders, Dan Wheldon will start sixth, and Vitor Meira eighth, while championship leader Sam Hornish Jr. qualified only 10th.
Sunday’s 80-lap event, the penultimate round of the 14-race 2006 IndyCar season, starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.
Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) pole qualifier today, his first pole of 2006 and sixth IndyCar career pole:
"his is exactly what we need to do this weekend: put as much pressure as possible on the Penske boys. There are plenty of [championship] points available in these last two races, and I think you’re going to see some changes in the standings at this race. I think the championship is still wide open. Qualifying on the pole today helps us a lot. It’s important to start on the first few rows at any road race, but particularly here as there are so many corners that flow from one to the next. It’s great to drive, but difficult to pass. You’ve got to use the hard braking zones and take some chances. I think that will affect the outcome of the race tomorrow."