Max Chilton surprised many by qualifying as the best placed of the Chip Ganassi Racing quartet in fourth, out-qualifying the more experienced trio of Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon on Saturday.
The British driver was a victor at Iowa Speedway a year ago when he triumphed for the Carlin team in the Indy Lights championship, and felt that having a loose car benefited him last year much as it did this year in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Chilton revealed that he had to be on the limit during his two-lap qualifying run, and only missed out on his maiden IndyCar pole position by less than one-tenth of a second to championship leader Simon Pagenaud, and was only 0.0026 seconds behind third placed Helio Castroneves.
“The Gallagher car was really strong today,” said Chilton. “It was loose, probably too loose, but when I qualified here last year on the pole in Indy Lights I was too loose. I think that’s the just the way it is around here.
“You have to be on the limit, especially in qualifying. I think in the race you need a car that you’re confident with, but in qualifying you just have to go for it.”