Rahal Qualifies Fifth at Pocono

* Honda driver continues fight for IndyCar Series championship
* Five Honda drivers post top-10 qualifying runs
* Third of three 500-mile races in 2015

Honda’s Graham Rahal continued his late-season run for the Verizon IndyCar Series championship Saturday at Pocono Raceway in northeastern Pennsylvania, qualifying fifth for Sunday’s ABC Supply Company Pocono 500. With two races remaining in the 2015 season, Rahal is currently ranked second in the drivers’ championship battle, nine points behind Juan Pablo Montoya, who struggled with handling issues in qualifying, leaving him 19th in the 24-car starting field.

Just behind Rahal, Andretti Autosport drivers Carlos Munoz, Justin Wilson and Ryan Hunter-Reay will start sixth through eighth, respectively, with Takuma Sato leading the A.J. Foyt effort in qualifying and will start ninth.

Sunday’s 200-lap race, the final oval, third 500-mile and penultimate race of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season, begins at 2 p.m. EDT with live network television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Graham Rahal (#15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) qualified 5th: “That was a good qualifying session. To get in the top-five feels really was good. I definitely think the aero efficiency of the competition has an advantage over us here in qualifying, but my guys did a great job to get us a starting spot up front, particularly [engineers] Mike [Talbott] and Eddie [Jones], who chose a good downforce level [for qualifying]. To be the top Honda feels good again, but we’ve got a big day tomorrow. I’ve got to make up some points and I think we can do it. We have to chase down Juan [Pablo Montoya] in the points. Obviously qualifying didn’t go his way, but Juan is one heck of a competitor and I know he will be there right on our heels tomorrow.”