Charlie Kimball will lead the field into an IndyCar race for the first time in his career on Saturday night.
Kimball qualified on the pole Friday afternoon, winning the Star-Telegram Qualifying Day with a top speed of 222.556 mph for Saturday’s Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
It’s the first series pole for Kimball, who has made 108 career starts in the open-wheel circuit. His previous best starting position was second at the 2016 Indianapolis G.P.
“It’s fantastic and so much credit goes to the guys,” said Kimball, driver of the No. 83 Honda. “With a condensed schedule like this, it’s pretty awesome to get pole.”
The IndyCar schedule had to be altered because of morning showers in the Fort Worth area.
Kimball had an impressive showing when the cars were on the track, though. His two-lap average speed of 222.556 mph is a track record.
His teammate, Scott Dixon, qualified second. Alexander Rossi, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner, will start third followed by veteran Tony Kanaan and Tristan Vautier.
Reigning TMS winner Graham Rahal will start 11th.
But Friday belonged to Kimball, who will be searching for his second career win. His lone win in the series came in August 2013 at Mid-Ohio. He has run 63 races since that win with his best finish being third three times.
Kimball’s best finish this season is a pair of eighth-place runs at Phoenix and in the second race last weekend at Detroit.
“If we haven’t had bad luck this year, we’ve had no luck, so it’s nice to get some good luck,” Kimball said. “The guys, I owe them such gratitude because they’ve been behind me. They’ve had my back all year long through the good, the bad, the ugly. We haven’t really had much great yet this year except for today, so it was nice to pay them back with this pole.
“They work so hard, especially this race being the end of a string of so many races back-to-back. The fact that we’ve shown our resilience as well as we have is -- by getting this pole is an indication of how great a team I have working with me.”