Mutoh Sets New Indy Pro Series Kentucky Speedway Qualifying Record
Panther Racing driver Hideki Mutoh will start tomorrow night's Indy Pro Series "Kentucky 100" from the pole position after turning a series track record 191.276-mph (27.8551 seconds) lap in qualifying this afternoon.
Mutoh earns his second series pole award of the season and will take the green flag for upcoming 100-mile test holding down the second position in the series standings after registering one win, nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes through 12 races this season. He trails championship leader Alex Lloyd by 111 points.
"We're surprised, because I didn't image I could be on the pole position. The car was so good and the team did a great job. That's why I'm here.
"We don't have a race strategy because we will start from the pole position. I will focus on my driving and drive to the best of my ability," Mutoh said.
Camden, Ohio driver Travis Gregg set the previous series Kentucky qualifying record with a 190.398-mph (27.9835 seconds) lap on Aug. 13, 2004.
Lloyd took the second spot on the 20-car grid with a 190.759-mph (27.9305 seconds) lap. He missed out on his third straight and fifth pole award of the season, but will start a series race on the front row for the ninth time this season.
Wade Cunningham nailed down the third spot on the starting grid with a 189.586-mph (28.1033 seconds) lap and will share the second row with rookie Logan Gomez, who earned his best qualifying position of the season with a 189.166-mph (28.1658 seconds) lap.
Cunningham will start tomorrow night's race third in the standings and 166 points behind Lloyd in the title hunt after taking a win, seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes this season. Gomez ranks ninth in the series standings after registering one top-five and five top-10 finishes in 12 events. He trails Lloyd by 267 points.
The green flag is set to wave for the "Kentucky 100" tomorrow at 9:00 p.m.
IndyCar Series "Meijer Indy 300 Presented by Coca-Cola and Edy's" qualifying is next on the track and "Radio Disney Fanfest" will follow at 7:30 p.m.