Hornish Motegi Pole Winner

Two-time IRL IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. claimed his first Marlboro Pole Award since 2003 as he earned the top starting spot for the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi.

Hornish recorded a lap of 26.7266 seconds, 204.740 mph in his No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara-Toyota to claim the fourth pole position of his IndyCar Series career. His last pole position came at Kentucky Speedway in August 2003.

"The cloud cover came by and the temperatures cooled down, so that definitely helped us. When we went out today in practice, we knew we wouldn't need much more downforce for qualifying. If we put too much downforce on the car for qualifying, it would have slowed us down on the straightaways."

Rookie Danica Patrick qualified second with a lap of 26.7577, 204.502 mph in the No. 16 Rahal Letterman Racing Pioneer Argent Panoz-Honda. Patrick became the first woman to qualify on the front row of an IndyCar Series event since Sarah Fisher qualified second at Richmond in 2003.

Scott Sharp, Helio Castroneves and defending Indy Japan 300 winner Dan Wheldon rounded out the top five for the April 30 race.

Rookie Tomas Enge will start 23rd following a crash as he warmed up for his qualifying run. Enge will be evaluated before the start of the race to determine his driving status.

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Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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