Scott Dixon, the only driver to record top 5 finishes in each of the previous two Grand Prix of Baltimore races, will open Sunday’s competition in the lead after winning the pole in Saturday’s qualifying session.
Dixon, a 33-year-old native of Auckland, New Zealand who drives the No. 9 car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, finished the 2.02-mile course in 1 minute, 18.0838 seconds. It is only the second time this season that Dixon has won the pole, but he is tied with James Hinchcliffe for the most wins in the IZOD IndyCar Series with three victories each.
Will Power, a 32-year-old native of Toowoomba, Austraila who races the No. 12 Verizon car for Team Penske, was second in 1:18.1171. Power had won the pole in each of the previous two races at Baltimore, winning the event in 2011 and placing sixth in 2012.
Last Sunday, Dixon and Power were embroiled in a controversy at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma in which Dixon’s car and a tire being carried by a member of Power’s crew collided in pit road. Dixon was penalized for the infraction, which prevented him from securing his fourth win in five starts and may impede his bid to capture the IZOD IndyCar Series championship.
Simon Pagenaud, a 29-year-old native of Poitiers, France who drives the No. 77 car for Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports, finished third in 1:18.4307. He had posted the morning session’s fastest time of 1:18.4391.
Justin Wilson, a 35-year-old native of Sheffield, England who races the No. 19 car for Dayle Coyne Racing, was fourth in 1:18.8698. Josef Newgarden, a 22-year-old native of Hendersonville, Tenn., who drives the No. 67 car for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, placed fifth in 1:18.9022. Rookie Tristan Vautier, a 24-year-old native of Corenc, France who races the No. 55 Environmental Rail Solutions car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, was sixth in 1:19.0380.
Other notables included points leader Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) finishing seventh in 1:19.0288 and reigning Grand Prix of Baltimore champion Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) placing eighth in 1:19.0367.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun