DETROIT -- Helio Castroneves quickly climbed from the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske car and slapped hands with his engineer and race strategist after recording a track record lap in qualifications for Dual 2 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.
Unfortunately for the Brazilian, Takuma Sato was still on the 2.36-mile, 13-turn street circuit to close the 12-minute session and the No. 14 ABC Supply car pipped Castroneves for the Verizon P1 Award with a lap of 1 minute, 16.1371 seconds (breaking Castroneves' day-old track record in its current configuration).
It was the second pole of the season for the A.J. Foyt Racing driver; the only driver with more than one through seven Verizon IndyCar Series races.
Click it: Dual 2 starting lineup, tire designation || Dual 2 qualifying results
“I’m extremely pleased for the team. (Dual 1) was a tough day with the gearbox problem, but we were able to use the race as a test session and we learned a lot," said Sato, who finished four laps down in 18th place. "We found something that we needed to solve and team and engineers did a great job getting everything together.
"I knew the track was really good from watching the first group. I wasn’t sure I could do (a 76-second lap), but when I had two laps to go I felt confident that the car worked really well and the last lap the car turned right. I just had to make sure that I didn’t make a mistake as I was committed 100 percent of the time. That’s a really great moment for qualifying."
Qualifications were split into two groups based on practice times May 30 for 12 minutes of track time each, with the starting lineup set by the group earning the pole occupying the odd-numbered positions and the other group the even-numbered positions. The second session, which included Sato and Castroneves, was shortened to 6:57 of green flag running because of a single-car incident involving the No. 28 DHL car driven by newly-crowned Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Click it: What transpired in Dual 1
Castroneves, who started from the pole in Dual 1 and finished fifth, recorded a best lap of 1:16.3624 and will start third and will be joined on Row 2 by Mike Conway (1:16.8580) in the No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka car for Ed Carpenter Racing.
James Hinchcliffe, who topped the time sheet in Group 1 with a lap of 1:16.3739 in the No. 27 United Fiber & Data car for Andretti Autosport, will start second for the second consecutive 70-lap race on Belle Isle and the fifth time this season.
“The story of my year. It’s unbelievable," said Hinchcliffe, who finished sixth in the first race. "Going out in the first group we knew we were in a little bit of a disadvantage. The track always gets better for the second group, but I drove everything I had off. (It's discouraging) that on the last lap, dying minutes, it all falls apart again but we’re still on the sharp end.”
Will Power, who won Dual 1 on May 31, will start 12th in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car. Dual 1 runner-up by .3308 of a second Graham Rahal, driving the No. 15 National Guard car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, will start 15th.
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