Munoz secures maiden IndyCar pole at Texas
Colombian Carlos Munoz has claimed his maiden IndyCar Series pole position for the Firestone 600 at Texas.
Munoz turned a two-lap average of 217.17 mph (349.43 km/h) in his Andretti Autosport Honda to outstrip Kiwi Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi) who recorded a 216.90 (349.06).
Team Penske ace Helio Castroneves will start from third after turning an average of 216.74 (348.80).
Gutted after finishing second behind Alex Rossi in the Indy 500 two weeks ago, Munoz was surprised at the speed he extracted from the Honda.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect that speed,” Munoz said.
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“I thought we would do something around 216 mph, but I was happy with the speed we were doing.
“It’s my first pole – I was looking at the (Verizon P1 Award) hat and it looks really nice. I’m really happy for all of my team after Indy.”
Dixon, who is second in the points standings behind Simon Pagenaud, was pleased with the balance of his Chevrolet as he continues his push for another title.
“In these situations, you trim out a lot. You’re on the edge and if you miss by a little bit, it can be a bit of a handful, but the balance is really good,” Dixon said.
AJ Foyt driver Takuma Sato was fourth fastest ahead of Josef Newgarden (Ed Carpenter Racing) with Pagenaud sixth.
Pagenaud’s fellow Team Penske driver Will Power will start from seventh with Tony Kanaan (Chip Ganassi), Rossi (Andretti-Herta) and James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt-Peterson) completing the top 10.
Dale Coyne driver Gabby Chaves had a scare in practice, crashing his #19 Honda heavily and subsequently missed qualifying.
Chaves will start from 22nd.
See below for full qualifying results