Takuma Sato secured his second pole position of the Verizon IndyCar Series season at Pocono Raceway as both Helio Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay crashed.
After securing the Indianapolis 500 victory back in May, Sato went on to take pole position at Detroit, but the Andretti Autosport driver will lead the field to the green flag on an oval for the first time since Iowa Speedway back in 2011 whilst racing for KV Racing Technology.
But both Castroneves and Hunter-Reay gave reason to why Pocono is referred to as the ‘Tricky Triangle’ as they both ended their runs in the wall. Castroneves spun his Team Penske machine into the wall at turn one on his first lap, while Hunter-Reay didn’t even get that far, losing control of his Andretti Autosport machine at turn three on his warm-up lap!
Hunter-Reay appeared to come off worse of the two, limping away from his car to the ambulance, aided by a couple of safety crew members.
Joining Sato on the front row will be Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud, who ended his two-lap run just 0.0911 seconds shy of the Japanese racer, while Charlie Kimball and Tony Kanaan will form an all-Chip Ganassi Racing second row ahead of 2016 Pocono winner Will Power.
Alexander Rossi did not have the best of runs, particularly on the first lap, and ended up sixth on the grid for Andretti Herta Autosport, while Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Gabby Chaves of Harding Racing line-up on row four.
Scott Dixon will start ninth for Chip Ganassi Racing alongside team-mate Max Chilton, while both Dale Coyne Racing’s Ed Jones and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe just missed out on the top ten by less than eight-hundredths of a second.
Championship leader Josef Newgarden, who comes to Pocono on the back of consecutive race victories at Toronto and Mid-Ohio, will start behind Esteban Gutierrez in fourteenth.
Ed Carpenter failed to get on track after his practice crash earlier in the day, with the American failing to get to the tech inspection line in time, missing out by just six minutes.
Pocono Raceway Qualifying Result
|1||26||Takuma Sato||JAP||Andretti Autosport||1:21.9526|
|2||1||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||1:22.0437|
|3||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:22.0536|
|4||10||Tony Kanaan||BRZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:22.1874|
|5||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||1:22.3092|
|6||98||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport||1:22.3338|
|7||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||1:22.5313|
|8||88||Gabby Chaves||USA||Harding Racing||1:22.5612|
|9||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:22.6376|
|10||8||Max Chilton||GBR||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:22.6644|
|11||19||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing||1:22.7340|
|12||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||1:22.7372|
|13||18||Esteban Gutierrez||MEX||Dale Coyne Racing||1:22.8377|
|14||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||1:22.8597|
|15||7||Sebastian Saavedra||COL||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||1:22.9712|
|16||27||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||1:23.0254|
|17||4||Conor Daly||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||1:23.3471|
|18||14||Carlos Munoz||COL||AJ Foyt Enterprises||1:23.6762|
|19||21||JR Hildebrand||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||1:23.7256|
|20||3||Helio Castroneves||BRZ||Team Penske||No Time|
|21||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||No Time|
|22||20||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||No Time|