Scott Dixon uses extra lap to win Indy Toronto pole

By The Sports Xchange  |  July 17, 2016 at 12:34 AM
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Scott Dixon took advantage of a bonus lap in qualifying on Saturday and used it to win the pole position for the Honda Indy Toronto.

Dixon's fast lap of 59.9073 seconds (107.326 mph) in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, the final lap of the session, earned his first pole of 2016 and 24th of his career.

The reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday's 85-lap event, the 32nd Indy car race on the storied 1.786-mile temporary street course.

Dixon, who won both ends of the 2013 Toronto doubleheader to launch a push to the third of his four Verizon IndyCar Series titles, planned to run two laps at speed in Saturday's Firestone Fast Six, the last of three rounds of knockout qualifying. But he was able to cross the timing line a few seconds ahead of the checkered flag to earn another lap. With clear track ahead, the 35-year-old New Zealander sped to the top of the chart.

"Each lap kept getting better," Dixon said. "We made the timeline by a second to get the extra lap. Just kept getting negatives on the splits (showing he was on pole pace). Gave up a little bit in Turn 8 -- obviously just enough to bump pole.

"We caught the timeline at the right point, that's it. Worked out nicely for a change."

Dixon's effort prevented Helio Castroneves from winning a second Toronto pole. Castroneves' best lap of 59.9425 seconds (107.263 mph) places him on the outside of Row 1 in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet.

"What am I going to say? I can't believe it," Castroneves said. "What is it, (four) hundredths of a second? Congrats to them but the Shell Pennzoil Chevrolet car is really fast."

Simon Pagenaud, the 2016 championship leader who has advanced to the Firestone Fast Six at all seven road/street courses this year and won five poles, qualified third in the No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet (1:00.2293, 106.752 mph).

Teammate Will Power, a two-time Toronto race winner, earned the fourth spot in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet (1:00.4085, 106.435 mph).

Qualifying Saturday for the Honda Indy Toronto Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.786-mile Exhibition Place circuit, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (9) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 59.9073 (107.326)

2. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 59.9425 (107.263)

3. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 01:00.2293 (106.752)

4. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:00.4085 (106.435)

5. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 01:00.4221 (106.411)

6. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 01:01.5637 (104.438)

7. (18) Conor Daly, Honda, 01:00.5693 (106.153)

8. (21) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:00.5885 (106.119)

9. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 01:00.6532 (106.006)

10. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 01:00.6635 (105.988)

11. (19) Luca Filippi, Honda, 01:00.7784 (105.788)

12. (10) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 01:00.8561 (105.653)

13. (41) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 01:00.6930 (105.936)

14. (8) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 01:00.6372 (106.034)

15. (26) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 01:00.7712 (105.800)

16. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:00.7088 (105.909)

17. (83) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 01:00.9060 (105.566)

18. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 01:00.8721 (105.625)

19. (98) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:01.2087 (105.044)

20. (14) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:01.4012 (104.715)

21. (20) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 01:01.3360 (104.826)

22. (27) Marco Andretti, Honda, 01:01.4384 (104.651)

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