Carlos Munoz grabs maiden IndyCar pole at Texas

Carlos Munoz - Credit: Chris Jones / IndyCar

Colombian ace Carlos Munoz secured his maiden Verizon IndyCar Series pole position as he set the pace during qualifying for Saturday night’s oval race at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Andretti Autosport driver set a two-lap average of 217.137mph early in the session and was then forced to watch as drivers came close to usurping his time, only to fall short when it mattered.

Scott Dixon came closest for Chip Ganassi Racing, with the New Zealander setting an average time of 216.901mph, but he was unable to get on terms with Munoz.

Helio Castroneves was the leading Team Penske driver in third, with the veteran Brazilian setting an average speed of 216.740mph, which was the same time as Japanese star Takuma Sato of AJ Foyt Racing, although the Brazilian’s actual time was 0.0001s faster over the two laps of qualifying.

Josef Newgarden qualified fifth for Ed Carpenter Racing ahead of current championship leader Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske, while another Penske driver, Will Power, was seventh.

Tony Kanaan, who had earlier set the fastest time during practice, was eighth for Chip Ganassi Racing, while Alexander Rossi of Andretti Herta Autosport and James Hinchcliffe of Schmidt Peterson Motorsport completed the top ten, the duo also only separated by just 0.0001s.

Gabby Chaves failed to set a time after crashing during practice, so will start at the rear of the field for Dale Coyne Racing, alongside team-mate Conor Daly.

Texas Motor Speedway Qualifying Times

126Carlos MunozCOLAndretti Autosport217.137mph
29Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing216.901mph
33Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske216.740mph
414Takuma SatoJAPAJ Foyt Enterprises216.740mph
521Josef NewgardenUSAEd Carpenter Racing216.684mph
622Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske216.663mph
712Will PowerAUSTeam Penske216.647mph
810Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing216.295mph
998Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport216.262mph
105James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports216.262mph
1128Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport216.260mph
1227Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport216.162mph
1315Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing215.927mph
1420Ed CarpenterUSAEd Carpenter Racing215.751mph
1583Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing215.533mph
167Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports215.299mph
172Juan Pablo MontoyaCOLTeam Penske215.279mph
1811Sebastien BourdaisFRAKVSH Racing215.030mph
198Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing214.864mph
2041Jack HawksworthGBRAJ Foyt Enterprises214.568mph
2118Conor DalyUSADale Coyne Racing213.826mph
2219Gabby ChavesCOLDale Coyne RacingNo Time