The final driver to make a qualifying run Friday at Twin Ring Motegi, Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s ScottDixon topped the IndyCar Series field by just over 0.5 mph to claim the pole for the Bridgestone IndyJapan 300. It is Dixon’s second pole at the Honda-owned Motegi circuit, and it earned him one morechampionship point as he attempts to catch series leaders Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti with just tworaces remaining in the 2009 championship.
Mario Moraes made the most of his first visit to Motegi, and will start from the outside of the front row afterqualifying second for KV Racing Technology, his best qualifying effort since joining the IndyCar Series in2008. Remaining championship contenders Franchitti and Briscoe will start from the second row afterqualifying third and fourth, respectively.
Local favorite Hideki Mutoh crashed in Turn 3 during his qualifying attempt, but escaped serious injury.
Helio Castroneves, the winner here in 2006, also crashed without injury, hitting the wall exiting Turn 4
while making his qualifying run. Both are expected to start the race at the rear of the field in their backup
cars. This weekend’s 200-lap race, the penultimate round in the 2009 IndyCar season, starts Friday at
10:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on Versus.
Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) pole qualifier, his second pole of 2009 and
fifteeth career IndyCar pole:
“Boy, going out last, plus the delays, made for a long [qualifying] session.
I even napped for a bit while sitting in the car, waiting. Mario [Moraes] put up some pretty impressive
numbers, but we’ve got a really fast car this weekend and I knew after the first lap that we were in pretty
good shape. One point [for the pole] is nice, but we’ve still got a way to go to catch Ryan [Briscoe] and
Dario [Franchitti]. We’ll give it our best shot tomorrow and see how things play out.”