LONG POND, Pa., Aug. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Following in the wheel tracks of James Hinchcliffe at Indianapolis and Carlos Munoz in Texas, Mikhail Aleshin claimed his first Verizon IndyCar Series pole Saturday at Pocono Raceway in qualifying for Sunday's ABC Supply Co. Inc. Pocono 500. It is the third Indy car pole of 2016 for Honda, all scored at super speedway circuits.
At the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May, Hinchcliffe posted his career-first pole, with Munoz following suit in June, in qualifying for the rain-delayed Texas Motor Speedway round, scheduled to conclude next weekend.
A.J. Foyt Racing's Takuma Sato will start third for Honda and both race and team sponsor ABC Building Supply Co. Inc. Munoz and Hinchcliffe continued to show strong speedway form, qualifying fifth and sixth, respectively, with Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi making it five Hondas in the top seven starting positions.
Ryan Huntr-Reay, the defending race winner, escaped injury in a morning practice session crash, but now will start Sunday's 200-lap race from the rear of the 22-car starting field. The ABC Supply Co. Inc. Pocono 500 starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.
Mikhail Aleshin (#7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) pole qualifier, 1st career IndyCar Series pole: "It's my first pole in INDYCAR and I am so happy to bring the car up there. We had a couple of 'moments' in Turn 1, but I decided to keep it flat and see what would happen. [Hitting] the wall didn't happen, but pole position happened – amazing. You don't know what this means to me. It's hard to put into words but I am so proud of this team. I really enjoy ovals and my team gave me a perfect car."
SOURCE Honda Racing