LONG POND, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – AJ Foyt Racing’s Tony Kanaan sits atop the speed charts after the one and only NTT IndyCar Series practice at Pocono Raceway in preparation for Sunday’s ABC Supply 500.
Kanaan’s fast lap of 216.354 MPH set the pace in the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet.
“I think we have a pretty decent car,” said Kanaan. “Our biggest challenge is that we will be starting in the back and this track is not an easy track to overtake on, especially in traffic.”
PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon was 2nd fastest at 215.761 MPH. Dixon also had the best “non-tow” speed of 214.438 MPH.
The first practice session in the morning was rained out and qualifying, which was set for mid-day, was cancelled because of the rain and track drying efforts.
“I think losing qualifying today due to weather definitely simplifies it,” said Dixon, the five-time and defending series Champion. “We came here with a pretty different kind of outlook and approach than we had year in the PNC Bank car just because it was not so good. I think we have a good car but it’s a long 500 miles.”
The cancellation forced the series to set the field by entrant points, which puts Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden on the pole position and Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi on the outside of the front row.
“It would’ve been nicer if we could’ve had a normal day,” said Newgarden. “We’re not dissatisfied with where we’re going to start. We’re all starting in a good spot, the top 5 guys in points, obviously we’re right next to each other. It could be worse. We could’ve qualified in a worse position. We’ll take it.”
“Obviously, we’re starting in a good spot on the front row,” said Rossi, the defending race winner. “But it’s a shame that a track such as Pocono has become one of our more predominant track position races. These cars do not perform well in traffic in superspeedway trim.”
Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske will start third and Dixon will start on the outside of row two.
“I love this time of year because it’s ‘crunch time’ so it’s time to go for it with four races remaining,” said Pagneaud.
Penske’s Will Power will start fifth with Andretti’s Ryan Hunter-Reay starting on the outside of row three.
Tickets are available for the ABC Supply 500. Tickets start at just $45 and Kids are Free! In addition to the race there is a Carnival behind the frontstretch grandstand, the IndyCar Fan Village and the Pocono Welcome Center with live music inside the Fan Fair, all of which are free for ticket holders. Fans with a Paddock Pass will be treated to IndyCar garage access, vintage IndyCars and a Classic Car Show. For more information visit www.poconoraceway.com.
The green flag drops at 2:45 p.m. and will be televised by the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) beginning at 2:00 p.m. and can be heard on the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network affiliates, Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 98 and XM Channel 209.