until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Power equals Andretti’s IndyCar pole record

by Matt Beer
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Championship leader Will Power equalled Mario Andretti’s all-time record of 67 IndyCar poles by topping qualifying at the Gateway oval.

Penske driver Power topped the earlier practice session then unleashed a 182.727mph two-lap qualifying average with a bold, high-line run.

Power’s 67th pole, his fourth of the season, comes nearly 16 years after his first: achieved for the Walker Racing-run Team Australia programme at the Surfers Paradise Champ Car race in 2006, Power’s first full season in top-level US racing.

Andretti’s pole record had stood since the legendary American took his final pole at Michigan in 1993, the penultimate year of his CART IndyCar career.

Power denied Ganassi’s Marcus Ericsson pole. But second is still Ericsson’s first ever IndyCar front row start – a remarkable statistic given he’s already an established title contender and three-time race-winner.

Ericsson is the sole interloper in an otherwise all-Penske top four. Josef Newgarden, who rued a poor first lap at a track where he’s won the last two races, and Scott McLaughlin share row two ahead of Ericsson’s Ganassi team-mates Alex Palou and Scott Dixon.

The seven championship contenders fill the top seven places, with Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward the last of them in seventh.

His team-mate Felix Rosenqvist starts last after spinning on his qualifying run. He narrowly avoided the outside wall before gently hitting the inside tyre barrier.

Takuma Sato won at Gateway in 2019 and took pole in 2020. He held provisional pole for a long spell before the title contenders ran at the end of the session and starts eighth for Dale Coyne Racing.

His old Formula 1 rival Romain Grosjean – who made his oval debut here last year – was the fastest Andretti Autosport driver in ninth, but has a nine-place grid penalty for an unscheduled Honda engine change following the last race in Nashville, which he’d ended in the barriers due to a clash with Newgarden.

Bommaritoautomotivegroup500 Friday August19 2022 Largeimagewithoutwatermark M68281

Grosjean’s penalty means Devlin Defrancesco will be Andretti’s highest-placed starter. His original 10th place was already his best qualifying of his rookie season. Team-mates Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta start just behind him.

Earlier in the day Michael Shank Racing officially announced the not-unexpected news that Helio Castroneves is staying on for 2023. Castroneves qualified 18th, just ahead of someone in the same contract position: Christian Lundgaard. The rookie’s long-anticipated 2023 Rahal Letterman Lanigan place was officially confirmed earlier this week too.

NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson has been far more competitive on the ovals in IndyCar so far. Given that, 21st on the Gateway grid may appear disappointing.

But the Ganassi driver pointed out that with Gateway only joining NASCAR’s Cup Series schedule this year, the last time he’d competed at the track was in NASCAR’s second-tier series in 2001 and he didn’t feel he’d yet got the hang of it in an IndyCar across the initial practice session.

An extended practice session is still to come later on Friday, beginning with a period in which just nine cars will be out – tasked with running a high line to put rubber down and increase the viable racing lines for Saturday evening’s event. The hope is that this will create more overtaking opportunities for the 2022 race.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team Car Gap Lap Avg.
1 Will Power Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 24.626
2 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 24.715
3 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 24.775
4 Scott McLaughlin Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 24.806
5 Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 24.822
6 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 24.862
7 Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 24.958
8 Takuma Sato Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Dallara DW12-Honda 24.993
9 Romain Grosjean Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda 25.010
10 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda 25.065
11 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda 25.080
12 Colton Herta Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Dallara DW12-Honda 25.091
13 David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsport Dallara DW12-Honda 25.117
14 Simon Pagenaud Meyer Shank Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 25.170
15 Jack Harvey Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 25.171
16 Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 25.185
17 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 25.188
18 Hélio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 25.230
19 Christian Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 25.257
20 Kyle Kirkwood A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 25.269
21 Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 25.514
22 Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 25.541
23 Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 25.567
24 Dalton Kellett A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 25.876
25 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 25.911
26 Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP Dallara DW12-Chevrolet
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