BALTIMORE -- Jack Hawksworth enters the Grand Prix of Baltimore 39 points behind championship front-runner Carlos Munoz. That doesn't dissuade the first-year Firestone Indy Lights driver.
"A win would go a long way and then there are two races left so anything can happen," said Hawksworth, who earned his second Sunoco Pole Award of the season.
Hawksworth recorded a best lap (11 of his 17) of 1 minute, 24.9617 seconds to claim the pole and sixth front-row start of the season during the 45-minute qualifying session on the 2.04-mile, 12-turn course.
Click it: Sunoco Pole Award qualifying results
"(Pole is) so important around here," said the 2012 Pro Mazda champion, who picked up one bonus point for the pole. "Man, this feels awesome. Best pole I ever had. Big thanks to the team, the whole 77 crew, great job. We’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow but we’re in great position. We’ve been great all weekend, we’re just going to go out there tomorrow and just get after it."
He did just that in the season opener at St. Petersburg after starting second and at Toronto in mid-July, where he won from the pole.
Munoz also positioned himself to contend for the victory in the 35-lap race by posting a lap of 1:24.9924 on his final lap in the No. 26 Dialy-Ser Andretti Autosport car. It's his eighth front-row start of the season and 12th in a row in the top five. He's finished fourth in both races in which he's started second, and won three races when he's started from the pole.
"Tomorrow we start second; it’s a long race, we’re really fast, so we’ll see,” he said.
Gabby Chaves, second in the championship (15 points behind), will join Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian teammate Sage Karam (16 points out of first) on Row 2.
Live Timing & Scoring augmented by the IMS Radio Network broadcast of the Sept. 1 race (12:30 p.m. ET) is available on www.indcyar.com and the INDYCAR 13 app. NBC Sports Network's broadcast is at 5 p.m.