Qualifying Report: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio—Conor Daly will start 11th in the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. It was his best qualifying effort for the team since the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix where he started 10th.
“Obviously it’s really good for us,” said Daly. “I think it’s just a nice thing after the year that we’ve had, it’s nice to have a good qualifying session. The car has been improving you know, we haven’t had the results to show it yet but I think this is at least a good step forward for us. We need a race like this where we just sit in the top 10, top 11, top 12, whatever, the whole time so hopefully we can fight from there tomorrow and make up some ground.”
His time of 1 minute, 4.8745 seconds (125.300 mph) was his quickest lap around the 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road course the entire weekend.
Last year at Mid-Ohio, Daly’s team used an alternate fuel strategy after starting 22nd and he was able to lead the race for 22 laps. He had to duck into the pits for a splash of fuel but finished sixth for his second best finish of his career.
Carlos Munoz, who had a similar situation last year, finished third in that race after starting 15th. His teammate Carlos Munoz will start 20th in the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet.
“It was a tough one,” Munoz said afterwards. “On the blacks [primary tires], we were looking pretty strong but then on the reds [alternate tires with a softer compound], we didn’t gain where we should gain on the red tires. It was hard to qualify in the top-12 for my group. I think my group was quite tough. It is what it is. Tomorrow I think we have to go really aggressive strategy-wise. Here at this track it’s hard to pass, we have to go aggressive on the strategy and see if it pays off. Last year, I did an aggressive strategy and it paid off, so we will see this year.”
Will Power won the pole with a time of 1 minute, 4.1720 seconds (126.672 mph). Rounding out the Firestone Fast Six are Joseph Newgarden, Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal, Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon.
The teams will have a 30-minute warm up tomorrow morning as they make their final prep for the 90 lap race. The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be broadcast live on CNBC starting at 3:00 p.m. EDT. The race will re-air on NBC Sports Network Sunday evening at 7 p.m. EDT.