LEXINGTON, Ohio – Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012 –Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports’ Simon Pagenaud qualified 3rd for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio race after turning a lap of 1:05.9038 seconds at 123.343 mph Saturday around the 2.258 mph, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

It is Pagenaud’s best qualifying effort in IndyCar racing. His previous best was fourth at Long Beach this past spring.

“I want to thank the team, it’s (the car) been just amazing all weekend long,” said Pagenaud. “We have made major changes in our philosophy after the test here last week, and I’m glad to see it’s working on the (Firestone) reds, because that’s our weakness since the beginning of the season.

“We were really solid today, and I’m really, really happy with the car. Tomorrow should be an exciting day.”

Team Penske’s Will Power scored his third IndyCar pole award of the year. His lap of 1:05.6474 seconds at 123.825 mph was just a tick faster than Ganassi Racing’s Dario Fanchitti, who posted a lap of 1:05.8950 seconds at 123.360 mph.

Pagenaud will line-up behind Power in third, and Bryan Herta Autosport’s Alex Tagliani will join him on the second row with a lap of 1:06.0047seconds at 123.155 mph.

The rest of the Firestone Fast Six today were Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe.

IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader Ryan Hunter-Reay will start eighth, while the second-place driver in the championship, Helio Castroneves, will start 13th. Castroneves was involved in an accident in the morning practice. His car sustained heavy damage after hitting a slow-moving Mike Conway.

The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio TV broadcast starts at 12:30 p.m. ET on ABC, with the green flag scheduled to wave at 1 p.m. ET.

DATE: Aug. 4, 2012
EVENT: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
LOCATION: Lexington, Ohio (2.258-mile, 13-turn road course)
SERIES: IZOD IndyCar Series
PAGENAUD: 3rd (1:05.9038 seconds at 123.343 mph)
POLE WINNER: Will Power (1:05.6474 seconds at 123.825 mph)