MADISON, Ill. – Rain washed out qualifying Friday afternoon and current IndyCar points leader Scott Dixon sits on the pole for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 which means the starting grid has been set by entrants’ points. Tony Kanaan will start 15th in the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet while Matheus Leist will start 18th in the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet.
Prior to the scheduled qualifying session, Kanaan was fourth quickest with a speed of 182.444mph in the first practice of the day. Matheus ‘Matt” Leist was 20th with a speed of 175.548mph. When the rain came, INDYCAR officials cancelled qualifying and extended the final practice session to 90 minutes. Kanaan sat in p-2 for a good part of that session. He dropped to seventh at the end, when several drivers put on new tires and vaulted past him.
“It’s a shame because I was looking forward to qualifying for sure,” said Kanaan. “We always talked about this race, we had high hopes, the team did well here last year and we have a strong car. I think we had a really good shot for the first three rows but qualifying by points, we’ll be 15th and we’ll have to do some catch up. I’m pretty pleased with the turnaround, the car’s fast, we’ve been in the top six all day so we’ll see. Have to do some TK miracles on the restarts and get back to the front.”
On the other hand, one driver who was not happy with his car during the two sessions around the 1.25-mile oval was Leist who admitted to struggling.
“We actually had a tough first day,” Leist shared, saying, “I’m still not feeling very comfortable in the car so we have to figure out some stuff for the race. Tony said that his car is good to drive and he was feeling okay even though he said it was going to be a long race because it’s very tough to pass here. So we’ll debrief with the engineers and see what we can figure out for tomorrow and try to do a good race and finish in the top 10.”
With the field starting by points, Dixon will lead followed by Alexander Rossi, Josef Newgarden, Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 gets underway Saturday night with the broadcast on NBC Sports Network beginning at 7 p.m. ET.