Rossi, Honda Claim Pole at Watkins Glen

Rossi, Honda Take Pole at Watkins Glen
• Alexander Rossi claims career first IndyCar Series pole
• Scott Dixon qualifies second as Honda sweeps front row

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (September 2, 2017) – Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon swept the front row in qualifying, taking their Hondas to first and second in Verizon IndyCar Series “knockout” qualifying at Watkins Glen International Raceway in preparation for Sunday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen.

Both drivers bettered the existing Watkins Glen lap record of 147.008 mph, set by Dixon last year. Although Rossi went 147.119 mph [with a time of 1:22.4639] to claim the pole in the final round, Dixon’s speed of 147.235 mph [1:22.4171] set in the second round – to advance him to the final – will be the new official mark.

In addition to Rossi and Dixon, Takuma Sato and Charlie Kimball both advanced to the final round of qualifying and will start fourth and fifth, respectively. Ryan Hunter-Reay will line up seventh, with Sebastien Bourdais and Graham Rahal rounding out the top 10 for Honda.

Coverage of Sunday’s 60-lap event starts at 1 p.m. EDT, live on the NBC Sports Network. Overnight rain showers are in the forecast for the Watkins Glen area, which could significantly alter the complexion of tomorrow’s race.

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) first career Indy car pole: “It was a big lap [when] we needed it. My team came on the radio and said, ‘you need at least a tenth.’ So, we went for it, dug deep, and the NAPA AUTO PARTS Andretti Honda got it. It’s amazing to finally accomplish this, especially on the back of the announcement [that he will be returning to Andretti Autosport and Honda in 2018] on Friday. I think it’s been a long time coming, so it’s just nice to finally get that. The whole team has been working so hard. They deserve this.”

Verizon IndyCar Series INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen
Circuit:​​Watkins Glen International Raceway (3.37-mile road course), Watkins Glen, N.Y.
2016 Winner:​Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) 119.334 mph average
Weather:​Overcast, cool, 64 degrees F