Rossi Grabs Maiden IndyCar Pole at Watkins Glen

by Paul Hensby

Alexander Rossi upset the championship contenders to take his maiden Verizon IndyCar Series pole position around Watkins Glen International on Saturday.

The Andretti Herta Autosport driver will lead the field to the green flag on Sunday after a super flying lap in the Fast Six shootout, with his best time of 1:22.4639s enough to deny Watkins Glen specialist Scott Dixon by 0.0529 seconds.

Dixon will share the front row with Rossi however, with the Chip Ganassi Racing driver ending up just one ten-thousandth of a second ahead of current championship leader Josef Newgarden in the leading Team Penske entry.

Takuma Sato will join Newgarden on the second row for Andretti Autosport, while Charlie Kimball of Chip Ganassi Racing and Helio Castroneves of Team Penske rounded out those who made it through to the Fast Six.

Ryan Hunter-Reay will start seventh for Andretti Autosport having missed out on advancing to the Fast Six, as did Team Penske’s Will Power in eighth, while Sebastien Bourdais of Dale Coyne Racing and Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will share row five.

Carlos Muñoz, who denied AJ Foyt Racing team-mate Conor Daly a position in the Fast Twelve session by the narrowest of margins, will start eleventh ahead of Simon Pagenaud, who will be disappointed to be the slowest of the Team Penske drivers in twelfth.

Spencer Pigot and Daly will line-up on row seven ahead of Ed Jones and James Hinchcliffe, with Tony Kanaan, Jack Harvey, Max Chilton, Marco Andretti and JR Hildebrand completing the field, having all been eliminated in the first segments of qualifying.

Watkins Glen International Qualifying Result

198Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport1:22.4639
29Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing1:22.5168
32Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske1:22.5169
426Takuma SatoJAPAndretti Autosport1:22.5660
583Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing1:22.8081
63Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske1:23.3350
- - Eliminated in Q2- - -
728Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport1:22.9854
812Will PowerAUSTeam Penske1:23.0987
918Sebastien BourdaisFRADale Coyne Racing1:23.1459
1015Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:23.2240
1114Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt Enterprises1:23.2959
121Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske1:23.2981
- - Eliminated in Q1- - -
1320Spencer PigotUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:23.4917
144Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises1:23.5089
1519Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing1:23.9851
165James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:23.6854
1710Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing1:23.9982
187Jack HarveyGBRSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:24.1390
198Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing1:24.2012
2027Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport1:24.1779
2121JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:24.4543

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