Herta Claims Pole Position in Firestone Fast 6 Qualifications at Honda Indy 200

FILE PHOTO — INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – MAY 18: IndyCar driver Colton Herta, right, practices for the 2023 Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 18, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Staff report

LEXINGTON, Ohio — July 1, 2023

Colton Herta secured the pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio in the Firestone Fast 6 qualifications on Saturday.

Herta, driving car No. 26, set the pace with a best time of 01:06.3096, reaching a top speed of 122.589 mph during his fifth lap.

Graham Rahal, driving car No. 15, claimed the second spot on the starting grid. His best time of 01:06.3528, achieved during the third lap, saw him reach a top speed of 122.509 mph. Rahal fell just 0.0432 seconds short of Herta’s blazing lap.

Kyle Kirkwood, in car No. 27, rounded out the top three qualifiers. Kirkwood clocked a best time of 01:06.3693, with a top speed of 122.478 mph. His consistent performance during the four laps he completed secured him a place on the front row of the grid.

Alex Palou – Photo Courtesy of Chip Ganassi Racing

Alex Palou, who currently leads the championship standings, secured the fourth position with a best time of 01:06.4166. Palou, driving car No. 10, reached a top speed of 122.391 mph during his fourth lap. Palou fell 0.1070 seconds short of Herta’s benchmark.

“I’m really happy, I would say this is my best qualifying here at Mid-Ohio. Last couple of years I wasn’t able to make it to the Fast 6. Only a tenth off, really close, we tried hard, but just missed a little bit on my best lap. Happy to be starting P4 and with 80 laps to go, it’ll be an exciting race tomorrow,” said Palou.

Christian Lundgaard, driving car No. 45, claimed the fifth spot on the grid with a best time of 01:06.6277 and a top speed of 122.003 mph. Lundgaard finished all five laps with a gap of 0.3181 seconds from the leader.

Six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, in car No. 9, completed the Firestone Fast 6 lineup. Dixon’s best time of 01:06.9281 and top speed of 121.456 mph during his four laps secured him the sixth position on the grid.

“The first sector went really well, but second one was kinda tight. I think the car had better speed. Honestly, I think we just went with the wrong tire strategy at the end there, using maybe the wrong set of reds. It looked like the blacks should have been the way we went, because we ran a lot quicker in Q1 on a new set of blacks. I think that would have got us maybe fighting for the front there. Starting sixth, the car’s got good pace,” said Dixon.

The 80 lap Honda Indy 200 is scheduled to begin at 1:55 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, July 2.  

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