Sato Runs Fourth for Honda in Iowa Qualifying

  • Takuma Sato leads Honda qualifying effort with fourth-place run at Iowa Speedway
  • Defending race winner James Hinchcliffe to start fifth
  • Honda drivers claim seven of top 10 qualifying spots

NEWTON, Iowa (July 19, 2019) – Takuma Sato led the Honda field today at Iowa Speedway in qualifying for Saturday night’s Iowa 300.  The 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner, who scored his first IndyCar Series pole at Iowa in 2011, will start fourth as the Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver seeks his second victory of the 2019 season.

Last year’s Iowa winner, James Hinchcliffe, will start fifth in his Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, with championship contender Alexander Rossi sixth for Andretti Autosport, as Honda drivers claimed seven of the top 10 starting positions in the 22-car field.

Sato’s teammate, Graham Rahal, will start from the inside of the fourth row, seventh, with defending series champion Scott Dixon eighth after today’s single-car qualifying runs.  Three-time Iowa Speedway race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay with start ninth, while rookie Marcus Ericsson led the rookie field and will start 10th in his Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda.

Saturday’s 300-lap race, the first short-oval race of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season, starts at 7 p.m. EDT, with live coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) Qualified fourth: “Today, the first [qualifying] lap was pretty good, but on the second lap the car was sliding all over the place. But the car was pretty good.  Iowa is always special for me.  This is the place where I earned by first [IndyCar] pole position. And it’s always exciting to race here.  There is no rest throughout the 300 laps, and it is always a hard battle.  We had a good race here last year [finishing third], so there’s no reason to think we shouldn’t have a good one this year, too.”

NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300 

Circuit: Iowa Speedway (0.894-mile oval) Newton, Iowa

2018 Winner: James Hinchcliffe (Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) 149.636 mph average

Weather: Sunny, hot, 92 degrees F

Top-10 Qualifying Results:

Ps. Driver Team Manufacturer Speed mph Notes
  1. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet  180.073
  2. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet  179.589
  3. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet  179.449
  4. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan  Honda  177.646
  5. James Hinchcliffe Arrow Schmidt Peterson   Honda  176.200
  6. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda  176.057
  7. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda  175.857
  8. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 175.725
  9. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda  175.618
10. Marcus Ericsson-R Arrow Schmidt Peterson  Honda  175.578

Other Honda Results

11. Colton Herta Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda  175.346
12. Santino Ferrucci-R Dale Coyne Racing Honda 175.316
15. Felix Rosenqvist-R Chip Ganassi Racing Honda  174.237
18. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda  173.044
20. Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Honda  171.626
21. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan Honda  171.390