Qualifying Report: June 1st Dual in Detroit

DETROIT May 31, 2013—Driving A.J. Foyt’s No. 14 ABC Supply Honda, Takuma Sato will start seventh in the first race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit tomorrow afternoon.

Today, Sato was on pace in the second round of knockout qualifying to make it into the Firestone Fast Six final round when an untimely red flag cut the session short by nearly three minutes.

Sato, who was 10th quickest in the sole practice session, topped his group of 12 in the first segment of qualifying and easily advanced to the second round. It was during the next round that Sato’s hopes of a front row start were dashed.

"Interesting qualifying,” Sato said afterwards. “After the torrential rain, the track was drying out quickly. We were comfortably the quickest in the semi-wet conditions so we were confident about qualifying today. In the second segment we did a check run on black tires, and then came in for the reds. We went back out, and on my out-lap a car had spun in Turn 3, bringing out a local yellow. I had to back off for traffic the next lap and it was still a local yellow in 3. Then when I was on my hot lap, they called for the red flag for no reason, so I never got to finish the hot lap. It's just very frustrating for the team and the effort they put in."

At the time the red flag flew, Sato had dropped to eighth on the grid. However, pole winner Dario Franchitti will lose 10 spots and start 11th because of an unapproved engine change at Indianapolis earlier this month, which moves Sato up to seventh.

E.J. Viso will start on the pole while Mike Conway, in just his third start this season, will start alongside Viso. Starting third through sixth are: James Jakes, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alex Tagliani and Tristan Vautier,

Qualifying for Sunday’s 70-lap race takes place Saturday morning.

The first race of the Dual in Detroit will be televised live by ABC Sports Saturday afternoon starting at 3:30 E.T.