FORT WORTH, Texas—For Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz, there is only one way to go in the RAINGUARD Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway: Forward.
Both cars struggled for speed in this afternoon’s practice which was delayed by rain and shortened by 15 minutes. Daly was 22nd and Munoz was 18th in the ranking. As the team prepped for qualifying, the 14 car was late to the tech inspection line by a few minutes and, according to INDYCAR rules, the team forfeited their chance to qualify.
“It was too bad the guys had a little issue and we were a couple minutes late to get in line,” said Larry Foyt, team president. “Due to that, the League said we couldn’t qualify. It’s a shame and it’s on us. We’ll figure out why it happened and we won’t let it happen again. You can still do really well from starting in the back here so hopefully we’ll have a good race car. We have final practice tonight and we’ll go out and do the best we can.”
Daly did get a chance to qualify on the 1.5-mile oval but his qualifying mirrored his practice; despite the team making some changes to the car, he was unable to improve his speed. He will start alongside his teammate in the final row of the 22-car field.
“We trimmed out a lot but there’s just no speed in the car and I don’t really know why,” Daly said afterwards. “It felt balanced but we’re just a little ways off so we’ll work to have a better car for the race. The car did feel okay in traffic earlier so hopefully we’ll have a good car for the race.”
Charlie Kimball won his first career pole and set a new track record with his two-lap average speed of 222.556mph. His teammates Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Max Chilton start second, fourth and sixth. Alexander Rossi will start third and Tristan Vautier, subbing for the injured Sebastien Bourdais, will start fifth. Will Power is the first Chevy-powered driver—he will start ninth alongside teammate Helio Castroneves.
The teams have a 30-minute final practice to run the cars in race trim. The race will be broadcast live tomorrow evening on NBC Sports Network starting at 8 p.m. EDT.