Qualifying Report – ABC Supply 500

LONG POND, Pa. Aug 22, 2015–Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth qualified ninth and 14th respectively for the ABC Supply 500 under sunny skies at Pocono Raceway.

Sato, who was fifth in the morning practice, posted a two-lap average speed of 219.578 mph to start outside of row three. Hawksworth, who was 10th in practice, posted a speed of 218.331 mph, and will start in the middle of the fifth row in the three abreast start.

“It was a very good run,” Sato said after his run (he was third at the time). “We had a very good morning practice session and the car improved with every run. We were confident for qualifying. Obviously it is always a balance between downforce and drag. The car was sliding a bit but I was able to control it and was satisfied with the lap. So good job to all the ABC Supply boys and engineers for making the car very fast. Hopefully we’ll have a good car in the race.”

Hawksworth had to wait for an hour for the track to repair the catch fencing in Turn 3 after Charlie Kimball lost control of his car during the first lap of his qualifying run. Kimball spun, hit the safety barrier and got up into the catch fence. He emerged with a slight injury to his chin and left hand but has been cleared to drive tomorrow. By the time Hawksworth had qualified, the weather conditions had changed.

“It was a pretty solid run–the car felt pretty good,” the 24-year-old Brit said. “It was really nice through Turn 3, okay through Turn 2 and probably a little too much understeer in Turn 1. It seems like the wind picked up on my run because I had to change my gear strategy during the run. Once I did that, the second lap was a little bit better. It felt like we had a little too much downforce as well but it should be a good race car for tomorrow.”

Helio Castroneves won the pole with a speed of 220.530 mph. Second through fifth were Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Graham Rahal.

The ABC Supply will be televised live Sunday afternoon starting at 2 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.