Castroneves denies Power pole position in Phoenix

Helio Castroneves took pole position in Phoenix - Credit: Chris Owens / IndyCar

The Phoenix International Raceway has only been back on the Verizon IndyCar Series calendar for two seasons, but Helio Castroneves is already proving himself as the qualifying specialist at the track as he secured pole position for Saturday evening’s race for a second consecutive season.

The veteran Brazilian also ensured Team Penske’s run of pole positions at the start of 2017 remained unbroken, with all four now being taken by either himself or by team-mate Will Power.

Castroneves set the best two-lap time of 37.7538s at an average of 194.905mph in the session to take his 49th career pole positions, and in doing so denied Power by 0.1728s, while the team secured four of the first five places on the grid.

As in practice earlier in the day, the only driver to break up the monopoly up front was JR Hildebrand, who continued his impressive start to the weekend to take third on the grid for Ed Carpenter Racing, ahead of practice pacesetter Josef Newgarden.

Reigning series champion Simon Pagenaud ended up fifth fastest, ensuring that Chevrolet power locked out the top five, with the leading Honda-powered entry finishing sixth in the form of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tony Kanaan.

Mikhail Aleshin was seventh for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport ahead of Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing, while Marco Andretti and championship leader Sebastien Bourdais completed the top ten for Andretti Autosport and Dale Coyne Racing respectively.

Phoenix International Raceway Qualifying Result

13Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske37.7538
212Will PowerAUSTeam Penske37.9266
321JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing37.9471
42Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske37.9933
51Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske38.0449
610Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing38.2178
77Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports38.2599
89Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing38.3151
927Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport38.4478
1018Sebastien BourdaisFRADale Coyne Racing38.4554
115James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports38.4866
1228Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport38.5663
138Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing38.5725
1483Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing38.6136
1598Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport38.6461
1619Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing38.7226
1715Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing38.7721
1826Takuma SatoJAPAndretti Autosport38.7736
1914Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt Enterprises38.8715
204Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises39.0291
2120Ed CarpenterUSAEd Carpenter Racing39.4849