Advantage Pagenaud after Penske take 1-2-3-4 in Sonoma qualifying

Simon Pagenaud - Credit: Richard Dowdy / IndyCar

Simon Pagenaud secured pole position for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ finale at Sonoma Raceway, and moved one step closer to the championship.

The Frenchman led a Team Penske 1-2-3-4 in qualifying on Saturday, with Pagenaud taking the one point on offer to move 44 points clear of team-mate Will Power, who will start the race fourth on the grid.

In between the two title protagonists will be the other two Penske drivers, with Helio Castroneves on the front row in second and Juan Pablo Montoya third.

Graham Rahal will start fifth for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the best of the Honda-powered entries, who also saw Ryan Hunter-Reay make it through to the Fast Six shootout on Saturday for Andretti Autosport.

Just missing out on the shootout was Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing, who will start seventh alongside Andretti Herta Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, while row five will be filled by KVSH Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais and Ed Carpenter Racing’s Josef Newgarden.

Mikhail Aleshin was eleventh fastest for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Charlie Kimball, who was the slowest of the twelve drivers in the second segment of qualifying.

Fastest of those failing to escape Q1 was Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti of Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport respectively, with the Brazilian lining up thirteenth and the American fourteenth.

Takuma Sato and Carlos Munoz fill row eight ahead of Jack Hawksworth and Max Chilton, while Spencer Pigot, James Hinchcliffe, Conor Daly and RC Enerson complete the field.

Sonoma Raceway Qualifying Result

122Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske1:16.2565
23Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske1:16.4134
32Juan Pablo MontoyaCOLTeam Penske1:16.5400
412Will PowerAUSTeam Penske1:16.6659
515Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:16.7149
628Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport1:16.9132
- - Eliminated in Q2- - -
79Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing1:16.5700
898Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Autosport1:16.5840
911Sebastien BourdaisFRAKVSH Racing1:16.6115
1021Josef NewgardenUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:16.8142
117Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:16.8909
1283Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing1:16.9627
- - Eliminated in Q1- - -
1310Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing1:16.9481
1427Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport1:16.9288
1514Takuma SatoJAPAJ Foyt Enterprises1:16.9661
1626Carlos MunozCOLAndretti Autosport1:17.0314
1741Jack HawksworthGBRAJ Foyt Enterprises1:17.0823
188Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing1:17.1310
1920Spencer PigotUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:17.3052
205James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:17.1926
2118Conor DalyUSADale Coyne Racing1:17.6771
2219RC EnersonUSADale Coyne Racing1:17.3264