IndyCar Road America: Newgarden beats Harvey to pole

Team Penske Chevrolet’s Josef Newgarden slipped in a brilliant lap at the very end of IndyCar qualifying at Road America to claim his second pole of the season, while for a second straight race, Jack Harvey landed a front-row spot for Meyer Shank Racing-Honda.

As is customary for NTT IndyCar Series double-header weekends at road and street courses, the more usual qualifying format was replaced. Positions at the end of morning practice defined how the field was divided in two – odd-numbered in one group, even-numbered in the other – with the fastest driver (in this case Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Will Power) getting to choose which group went out first. The fastest driver of the two groups would earn pole and thereby grant ‘his’ group all the odd-numbered positions on the grid, while the fastest driver from the other group would earn outside front row spot and this group would fill out all the even-numbered positions on the grid.

So that the track was rubbered in as much as possible, Power inevitably chose his group to go out second, yet for much of the session, it seemed as if Harvey’s top time from Group 1 – 1min45.729 – would stand strong and give him his first pole.

However a three-way struggle in Group 2 between Newgarden, teammate Power and Andretti Autosport-Honda’s Ryan Hunter-Reay, saw Newgarden set a 1min45.519 to claim his 15th pole in IndyCar. Hunter-Reay fell 0.1372sec short of that mark, while Power overcooked his last lap of the 4.014-mile course and was three-tenths down.

Group 1 was far closer at the top, Graham Rahal’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda taking just 0.03sec longer than Harvey to complete his flyer, as Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan’s Santino Ferrucci was very impressive, just another 0.04sec back.

Scott Dixon, winner of the first two races of 2020, was fifth fastest in the second group, just ahead of last year’s dominant winner at Road America, Alexander Rossi.

Today’s race gets the green flag at 5.08pm ET. 

GROUP 2

ClaDriverTeamTimeGapMph
1 Josef Newgarden Team Penske 1’45.519  136.946
2 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport 1’45.656 0.137 136.768
3 Will Power Team Penske 1’45.824 0.305 136.551
4 Colton HertaAndretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport 1’45.860 0.341 136.504
5 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 1’45.932 0.413 136.412
6 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport 1’46.136 0.617 136.149
7 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing 1’46.298 0.778 135.942
8 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1’46.536 1.017 135.638
9 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske 1’46.709 1.189 135.419
10 Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing 1’46.811 1.292 135.289
11 Oliver AskewArrow McLaren SP 1’47.113 1.594 134.908
12 Dalton Kellett A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1’47.576 2.057 134.327

GROUP 1

ClaDriverTeamTimeGapMph
1 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing 1’45.729  136.674
2 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1’45.759 0.030 136.635
3 Santino FerrucciDale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan 1’45.769 0.040 136.621
4 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing 1’45.846 0.117 136.522
5 Marco AndrettiAndretti Herta Autosport with Marco & Curb-Agajani 1’45.988 0.259 136.339
6 Patricio O’WardArrow McLaren SP 1’46.035 0.306 136.279
7 Alex PalouDale Coyne Racing with Team Goh 1’46.126 0.397 136.163
8 Rinus van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 1’46.130 0.401 136.157
9 Max Chilton Carlin 1’46.387 0.658 135.828
10 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport 1’46.470 0.741 135.722
11 Charlie Kimball A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1’47.686 1.957 134.190

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