It was an unusual start to the weekend for championship leading No. 86 Acura crew after the team struggled to get up to pace during Friday’s practice sessions. Hindman and teammate Mario Farnbacher tested various set-ups through changing track conditions on Friday, ending the day with a fast lap time of 1:45.138-seconds.
Saturday morning brought heavy rain in the early hours, and forced the team to test out its wet setup on the Acura. Making several adjustments after the final practice session on Saturday fared well for Hindman during his qualifying run.
Hindman got up to speed quickly as the track improved from damp to dry during the 15 minute session. Hindman teetered between first and second on the time chart throughout his run but got caught out in traffic during the final moments of the session keeping him from making the most of the rapidly drying track. Hindman dropped down to fourth after completing two less laps than the pole sitting car. Hindman’s fast lap of 1:46.697-seconds will place him fourth on the grid for Sunday’s two hour and 40-minute race.
“We went from being frustrated about our performance between Practice 1, Practice 2 and Practice 3 to now being frustrated that we missed out on the pole,” said Hindman. “We missed out on it, not from having an unbalanced car or anything like that, we missed out just purely because we got caught up in traffic at the absolute worst possible time in a session like that. We made so much progress with the car and threw a bunch of stuff at it in a matter of hours so a big thanks to Mike (Shank), Ryan (McCarthy) and all the Meyer Shank Racing guys for buttoning down and getting that done and giving us an opportunity to even fight for the pole when yesterday and even this morning it wasn’t looking too good for us.”
Source. Sunday Group