until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Newgarden beats Sato to Detroit IndyCar pole

by Jack Benyon
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Josef Newgarden maintained Chevrolet and Penske’s strong street course form by becoming the seventh different polesitter in as many IndyCar races this season in Detroit.

Newgarden, who won the last street course race in Long Beach, had to put in a monster lap at the Belle Isle circuit to unseat Takuma Sato of Dale Coyne Racing at the top of the order, which he did with his last lap of the Fast Six.

Sato held on for second, with the crash- and traffic-heavy sessions in Detroit opening up qualifying for some more unexpected team and driver combinations in the Fast Six.

Behind Sato, Meyer Shank Racing duo Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves were third and fourth, with both disappointed not to make the front row.

Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward looked favourite for pole through qualifying but his lap was only good enough for fifth, ahead of David Malukas.

Rookie Malukas, Sato’s Coyne team-mate, was guaranteed his best IndyCar qualifying yet as soon as he made the Fast Six for the first time, a week on from being snubbed for rookie of the year at the Indy 500 in a vote won instead by Jimmie Johnson.

Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta was the first driver to miss out on the Fast Six although after his nightmare Indy 500 driving a car for the first time in the race after his primary car was smashed in a practice shunt, seventh on the grid was still an upturn. He admitted he didn’t have the pace for pole and made a mistake on his flying lap.

Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson will start behind Herta in eighth – blaming Ganassi team-mate Scott Dixon for holding him up and saying that he should have fought for pole. Dixon blamed others for holding him up, too.

Dixon said up until qualifying he had one clean lap from two practice sessions, saying “it’s ridiculous what’s going on in these short sessions, it’s a mess”.

Scott McLaughlin rounded out the top 10 with the red flag that ended the Fast 12 costing him dearly given his risky strategy to wait until the last to set a fast time.

Alexander Rossi was 11th ahead of Romain Grosjean, who brought out the red as he hit the wall at Turn 12 and then spun into the wall at Turn 13.

Kyle Kirkwood couldn’t quite make good on his practice one-topping pace from Friday after crashing in the following practice, but still managed to qualify in the top 15 with a damaged hand that will test his stamina over his double duty in the IMSA SportsCar Championship this weekend as well. He has been in the news this week as he will race for Andretti Autosport next year, taking the seat being vacated by Arrow McLaren SP bound Rossi.

Two big names came behind, with Will Power in 16th. He almost won this race last year before a red flag and a lack of cooling meant his car didn’t restart from the lead in the closing stages.

Champion Alex Palou will start from 18th, which is at least an improvement on his 19th-place qualifying at this race last year, which then got even worse with an engine penalty.

Felix Rosenqvist starts from the back of the pack after a qualifying infringement penalty for an error in communication between himself and the pitfall which led to Rosenqvist holding up Johnson.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 1m15.226s 1m15.028s 1m15.215s
2 Takuma Sato Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Dallara DW12-Honda 1m15.391s 1m14.936s 1m15.349s
3 Simon Pagenaud Meyer Shank Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 1m15.846s 1m14.917s 1m15.395s
4 Hélio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 1m15.436s 1m14.859s 1m15.453s
5 Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 1m15.597s 1m14.668s 1m16.33s
6 David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsport Dallara DW12-Honda 1m14.883s 1m14.825s 1m16.61s
7 Colton Herta Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Dallara DW12-Honda 1m15.2s 1m15.104s
8 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 1m15.615s 1m15.227s
9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 1m15.33s 1m15.405s
10 Scott McLaughlin Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 1m15.676s 1m15.867s
11 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda 1m15.028s 1m16.217s
12 Romain Grosjean Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda 1m16.006s 1m16.974s
13 Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 1m16.015s
14 Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 1m15.548s
15 Kyle Kirkwood A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 1m16.125s
16 Will Power Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 1m15.573s
17 Santino Ferrucci Juncos Hollinger Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 1m16.139s
18 Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 1m15.612s
19 Christian Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 1m16.306s
20 Jack Harvey Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 1m16.834s
21 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda 1m16.337s
22 Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 1m17.549s
23 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 1m16.426s
24 Tatiana Calderón A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 1m18.365s
25 Dalton Kellett A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet
26 Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 1m18.629s
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