NEWTON, Iowa—Under hot and sunny skies, Tony Kanaan posted his best qualifying effort of the season but he was disappointed in the run which will see him line up 13th in the Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway tomorrow evening.
Kanaan had posted a time that was seventh quick in the morning practice (he was never out of the top 10), so he was optimistic about his chances in qualifying, hence his disappointment.
“Frustrating, I think I could have been a little bit better,” said Kanaan, who won the race here in 2010 (from 15th on the grid) and finished on the podium from 2010 through 2014. “Obviously the track had some oil dry (from the ARCA Series’ final practice) and that’s the price we pay when we qualify early. The track is only going to get better. The way you do the qualifying order now is by championship points and we didn’t do ourselves any favors by being in the back. This is a track where I led over 500 laps in the course of my career and have a lot of podium finishes so I’m hopeful this will be our turnaround weekend for sure.”
Leist, who had won the Indy Lights race here in 2017, will start 22nd tomorrow night.
“Tough qualifying here at Iowa to be honest,” Leist said. “I thought we were going to be a little bit better but it is what it is. The track was really dirty on the outside and I’ve been running the outside all practice long. I never tried the inside and on my warmup lap I had a moment because the track was so slippery, so I had to change the line and try the inside. Everybody has to adapt but I don’t know, didn’t quite do a great job today. Just looking forward to the race now.”
With a two-lap average speed of 180.073mph, Simon Pagenaud won his second straight pole position (and third of the season) as he outpaced his teammates Will Power and Josef Newgarden. Rounding out the top five were Takuma Sato and James Hinchcliffe.
The 300-lap race will be broadcast live tomorrow starting at 7 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network. It will also air on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, SiriusXM Radio, channel 209.