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
|1||26||Carlos Munoz||COL||Andretti Autosport||217.137mph|
|2||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||216.901mph|
|3||3||Helio Castroneves||BRZ||Team Penske||216.740mph|
|4||14||Takuma Sato||JAP||AJ Foyt Enterprises||216.740mph|
|5||21||Josef Newgarden||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||216.684mph|
|6||22||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||216.663mph|
|7||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||216.647mph|
|8||10||Tony Kanaan||BRZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||216.295mph|
|9||98||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport||216.262mph|
|10||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||216.262mph|
|11||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||216.260mph|
|12||27||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||216.162mph|
|13||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||215.927mph|
|14||20||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||215.751mph|
|15||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||215.533mph|
|16||7||Mikhail Aleshin||RUS||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||215.299mph|
|17||2||Juan Pablo Montoya||COL||Team Penske||215.279mph|
|18||11||Sebastien Bourdais||FRA||KVSH Racing||215.030mph|
|19||8||Max Chilton||GBR||Chip Ganassi Racing||214.864mph|
|20||41||Jack Hawksworth||GBR||AJ Foyt Enterprises||214.568mph|
|21||18||Conor Daly||USA||Dale Coyne Racing||213.826mph|
|22||19||Gabby Chaves||COL||Dale Coyne Racing||No Time|