Second Pole For Patrick
August 13, 2005 | 1:38 P.M. EST
While Buddy Lazier was able to hold off three of the IRL IndyCar Series best qualifiers, he couldn’t best Mother Nature in a rain-shortened qualifying session.
Lazier was first and quickest of the four cars to attempt qualifying runs for Sunday’s 12th round of the IndyCar Series season, running a lap of 217.300 mph in the Pennzoil Panther Chevrolet. Following Lazier, Same Hornish Jr. (216.624 mph), Bryan Herta (215.775 mph) and Tony Kanaan (215.153) took runs, but came up short of Lazier’s speed. Herta (three), Hornish (three) and Kanaan (one) have all but four of the Marlboro Pole Awards in 2005.
Next out was Ed Carpenter, whose run was cut short due to rain.
The rain came at an inopportune time for Lazier, who is running a very limited schedule for Panther following a fifth-place finish at the Indianapolis 500, with future events pending sponsorship.
Benefitting by the rain was Patrick, who will start from the pole for the second time this year in the No. 16 Rahal Letterman Racing Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Honda Panoz. She was fastest in Saturday’s practice, posting a quick lap of 217.516 mph in the afternoon session. IRL points leader Dan Wheldon will join here on the front row after leading the morning session with a lap of 217.500 mph in the No. 26 Andretti Green Racing Klein Tools Honda Dallara.
Tomas Scheckter – a three-time pole winner – and Hornish will start from the second row, with Scott Dixon, Kanaan, Vitor Meira, Scott Sharp, Lazier and Dario Franchitti rounding out the top 10.
A.J. Foyt IV will be gridded 13th in his first 2005 start with Chevrolet power. Jaques Lazier will grid 18th in his second start in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Toyota, while Tomas Enge – making his first start after missing two races due to back injuries suffered at Nashville Superspeedway, will start last in the 23-car field.
The field for Sunday’s race, the AMBER Alert Portal Indy 300 Presented by GPS Industries, takes the green flag Sunday at 3:30 p.m. (ET).