Ryan Hunter-Reay continues attempt at late-season resurgence with pole at Mid-Ohio

Robert Laberge

After three straight disappointing finishes, Ryan Hunter-Reay hopes to get back on the right track in defense of his 2012 championship. After turning in the fastest time in testing mid-week, he continued showing speed with the fast time during Saturday's IndyCar Series qualifying session.

Ryan Hunter-Reay is definitely not out of the championship hunt, but does not have momentum on his side after some disappointing finishes in recent races. He hopes to turn that around starting at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

A fast lap of 124.385 miles per hour was nearly three-tenths faster than his best time during testing on Wednesday. The track has been favorable for Hunter-Reay, despite retiring from the race early in 2012 due to engine problems.

"Anytime you qualify around this place in IndyCar is some of the best times you're going to have in a car. There's not many tracks like it, so I really enjoyed it today."

Tires ended up playing a major part during the session. The Andretti Autosport team made the decision to remain with their used red tires in the second session, confident they would have the speed and elected to save their new set for the fast six final session. Hunter-Reay missed the track record by just five-thousandths of a second.

"We saw Dario, Scott and Will going out on new. We knew it was going to be tough to be in the Fast Six. Got it in there. I think we were second or third for that outing. The last one on new Firestone reds, knew we had to bring it home. It's a shame to miss the track record by that much."

Will Power, Scott Dixon, Marco Andretti and Charlie Kimball completed the top-five. Point leader Helio Castroneves will have to climb from 15th starting spot on Sunday. Since IndyCar's return in 2007, no driver has come from further back than sixth to win at Mid-Ohio.

The complete qualifying results have been provided below:

  1. Ryan Hunter-Reay
  2. Will Power
  3. Scott Dixon
  4. Marco Andretti
  5. Charlie Kimball
  6. Dario Franchitti
  7. Justin Wilson
  8. Simon Pagenaud
  9. Simona De Silvestro
  10. James Jakes
  11. Tristan Vautier
  12. EJ Viso
  13. James Hinchcliffe
  14. Sebastien Bourdais
  15. Helio Castroneves
  16. Takuma Sato
  17. James Davison
  18. Oriol Servia
  19. Josef Newgarden
  20. Tony Kanaan
  21. Sebastian Saavedra
  22. Graham Rahal
  23. Ed Carpenter
  24. Luca Filippi

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