Fort Worth, TX – Alex Tagliani will start the Firestone 550 from the pole position for the second consecutive year at Texas Motor Speedway. The two-lap average for the No. 98 Team Barracuda – BHA, Honda-powered car was 215.691 mph (47.5695 seconds). The P1 qualifying marks the eighth pole position of Tagliani’s career.
Coming off a top-ten finish last weekend in Detroit, Tagliani was anxious to get on track and prepare for the seventh race on the IZOD IndyCar schedule. The IndyCars ran only one practice session earlier in the day on Friday, in which Tagliani finished P4.
Afterward, under the direction of lead engineer Todd Malloy, the Team Barracuda – BHA crew was able to dial in the setup for the Canadian driver. Last year at TMS, Tagliani and Malloy worked together for the first time and earned the pole as well.
Team owner Bryan Herta said of the duo: “Alex and Todd [Malloy] are a great combination. They’re doing a really good job right now and it’s a very proud time for our team to have this kind of success. The next stage for us now is that we have to convert the qualifying pace we’ve had the last couple of weeks into results.”
Tagliani’s excitement was evident as he received the pole award with his team.
“It’s pretty clear to see that for the team, once we got back with Honda, we’re a threat every race weekend,” said Tagliani. “I feel good. Our championship started at Indy, and to be on the pole here is a great boost to the morale of the entire team. The car’s good and the Honda engine is producing good power at every boost level. We’re stoked to be back with them; it makes a big difference.”
The Firestone 550 will take place tomorrow, Saturday, June 9, with pre-race activities starting at 7 p.m. CST and an estimated green flag drop at 7:50 p.m. The 228-lap race will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network, IMS Radio Network and SiriusXM (XM 94 and Sirius 212).