Dixon On Gateway IndyCar Pole

Field Set By Entrant Points After Rain Cancels Qualifying

Scott Stiller
August 25, 2018 - 9:01 am
Scott Dixon's No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

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Madison, IL (93.7 The Fan) - PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon is on the pole position for tonight’s Verizon IndyCar Series Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis after rain cancelled qualifying on Friday.

Verizon IndyCar Series officials made the decision to cancel qualifying after rain wreaked havoc with the track schedule.  The first practice session had only 22-minutes of green-flag time, so the decision was made to cancel qualifying and extend the second practice session, so teams could spend more time working on the set-up of their cars for the race.

The 21-car starting grid was set by entrant points, putting Dixon on the pole since he is the championship points leader.

“I think there are probably some people that will complain about not qualifying and that we’re starting first as the points leaders, but I think we can all agree that practice is more important to have than the qualifying session with the situation,” said Dixon, who leads Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi by 29-points.

Per IndyCar rules, Dixon will not be credited with a pole position and will not receive the championship point that goes to the pole winner.  None of that mattered to Dixon, who is focused on the task at hand.

“Would we have got the pole,” Dixon asked hypothetically.  “Maybe, maybe not.  The PNC Bank car started strong, that’s what you need to do when you’re in a championship fight and every spot matters.  I think we have a good car and it should be a good race.”

Rossi was atop the speed charts in both practice sessions and turned the fastest lap (184.424 mph) in the No. 27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda and will start beside Dixon on the front row.

“We have a little bit of an advantage because we tested here about three or four weeks ago,” Rossi said. “This track is always awesome”.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden and Will Power make up the second row in the No. 1 and No. 12 Verizon Chevrolets.

“We still need to find a bit to be better in traffic,” said Power.  “We need to be a little better with following (closely behind another car)”.

NBCSN will air a delayed recap of Friday’s final practice tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET prior to live coverage of the event that begins at 8 p.m.  The race can also be heard on the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network.

NOTES: The Verizon IndyCar Series relesed a medical update on Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens, who was injured in an accident last weekend at Pocono Raceway:

Surgeries were performed late this week on his right arm and lower extremities without complication.  The extent of the spinal cord injury remains indeterminate.  Wickens also underwent a serie of precautionary tests that found no indication of further injury.  Future treatment for Wickens includes more corrective surgery and rehabilitation.

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