Jack Hawksworth ended the qualifying session at the Watkins Glen International as the leading Honda qualifier in ninth despite initially missing out on reaching the second segment.
The AJ Foyt Racing driver was forced to rely on a penalty being handed to Graham Rahal to progress, and then did well during the second part to qualify inside the top ten and lead the Honda challenge amid the Chevrolet charge.
Despite this, Hawksworth felt there was more time to be found and should have maybe got as high as seventh had he not been compromised by Will Power backing him up ahead his flying lap.
“It was an interesting qualifying session, there was a lot of drama obviously in the first one,” said Hawksworth. “We did the one lap on reds and then we were on our second lap when the red [flag] came out.
“We crossed the line and we thought we were through [to the next round] and then we were out. Earlier in the session, when I was on a flyer on my first set of reds, Graham [Rahal] stopped in the middle of Turn 10 so he drew a penalty as he should. We obviously then transferred.
“It was pretty decent but again maybe we were just on the wrong place on the track. [Will] Power just kept backing up a little bit, and perhaps we could have gone a couple of tenths quicker and got P7.
“Overall a pretty decent day. The car was good and we’ve been pretty competitive all weekend so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”