Sato leads Honda qualifiers in Iowa

* Indianapolis 500 winner to start fifth in Sunday’s race
* Honda drivers claim six of top 10 starting positions
* Second short-oval race of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series

NEWTON, Iowa (July 8, 2017) – Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato led a string of Honda drivers in qualifying today for Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300, posting the fifth-fastest speed, 182.653 mph, in his Andretti Autosport Honda.

Sato led a pack of Honda drivers qualifying from fifth through 10th on the 0.894-mile, high-banked Iowa oval, the shortest circuit on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’s Mikhail Aleshin went sixth-fastest, at 182.454 mph, to complete the third row of the starting grid. Row four includes Tony Kanaan, seventh, and rookie star Ed Jones, eighth. James Hinchcliffe and Graham Rahal rounded out the top 10 for Honda.

Sunday night’s 300-lap event, the second short-oval race of 2017, starts at 5 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Takuma Sato (Andretti Autosport Honda) Indianapolis 500 winner, qualified 5th today in Iowa: “This is a good result for the #26 team. Qualifying had tricky conditions – [it was] a lot warmer than the practice earlier today – and my teammates who qualified before me had tough runs. We saw their data and tried to learn from [their qualifying runs] and make the most of ours. I think we really did a great job pulling things together – qualifying fifth is really good.”