Ryan Hunter-Reay takes pole for Grand Prix of Alabama - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Ryan Hunter-Reay takes pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -

Ryan Hunter-Reay earned his first Verizon P1 Award of the 2013 season by capturing the pole position for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday.

The reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion recorded a lap of 1:07.0871 in the No. 1 DHL Chevrolet to earn his third pole of his Indy car career. Will Power, the race winner the past two years, will join Hunter-Reay on the front row.

Hunter-Reay's pole was just part of the story in a dramatic qualifying session on the 2.3-mile road course that saw Scott Dixon blitz the track record by more than 3 seconds in the first of the three rounds.

Takuma Sato, who appeared to qualify for Firestone Fast Six for the second consecutive race, was penalized for interference in Round 2 and was credited with qualifying 12th (a drop of at least six positions). Rookie Tristan Vautier was called back to pit lane to participate in the 10-minute session and qualified a career-best third.

Charlie Kimball advanced to the Firestone Fast Six for the first time and posted his career-best starting position of fifth, while AJ Allmendinger qualified 11th in his IZOD IndyCar Series debut.

Also on April 6, Carlos Munoz set a Firestone Indy Lights track record to win the Sunoco Pole Award for the Legacy Indy Lights 100.

Munoz turned a lap of 1:13.8509 with 17 minutes left in the 45-minute session. Schmidt Peterson c/w Curb-Agajanian's Jack Hawksworth moved to P2 -- .1150 of a second behind -- with 8 minutes left and improved his lap time to close to .0898 of a second behind Munoz with 1:30 left.

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