Genius tyre call sees Newgarden claim Road America pole

2 Mins read
Credit: NTT Indycar Series

Pole position for the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America went the way of Josef Newgarden after a bold tyre call in the Firestone Fast Six paid off in a big way.

Team Penske opted to send both Newgarden and Will Power out on the primary black Firestone tyres for the final laps of qualifying as they bid for pole position and Newgarden managed to hook the lap up superbly to put his car in the best possible place for tomorrow’s race.

He’ll be joined on the front row by Andretti Autosport’s young hotshot Colton Herta who went the other way on tyres, setting his best laps on the alternate red compound but he was two tenths off of Newgarden’s pole time.

Jack Harvey was again the driver to upset the applecart at the front as he and Meyer Shank Racing qualified third at a track where they have always performed admirably so their tails will be up for the race tomorrow.

Power couldn’t match Newgarden’s magic and had to settle for fourth from Chip Ganassi’s Alex Palou and the third Penske car in the Fast Six in Simon Pagenaud.

Just missing out on the chance to go for pole was Romain Grosjean who had the pace all weekend to challenge at the front, but he, and all of those knocked out in the fast 12, still have plenty to race for tomorrow.

Andretti had two drivers narrowly miss the cut with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi eighth and ninth respectively ahead of Championship points leader Pato O’Ward who said his Arrow McLaren SP car simply weren’t quick enough in tenth.

Sebastien Bourdais and Ed Jones also made the fast 12 but they were unable to really push those in the higher echelons of places and had to settle for 11th and 12th.

The big names knocked out in round one were only just as Graham Rahal and Scott Dixon were both fractions away from advancing, but they will start tomorrow’s race from the seventh row while Detroit winner Marcus Ericsson could only manage row nine.

Pos.NameTeamLap Time
1Josef Newgarden (F6)Team Penske1:46:018
2Colton Herta (F6)Andretti Autosport1:46:261
3Jack Harvey (F6)Meyer Shank Racing1:46:720
4Will Power (F6)Team Penske1:46:823
5Alex Palou (F6)Chip Ganassi Racing1:46:863
6Simon Pagenaud (F6)Team Penske1:47:127
7Romain Grosjean (F12)Dale Coyne Racing1:45:901
8Ryan Hunter-Reay (F12)Andretti Autosport1:45:951
9Alexander Rossi (F12)Andretti Autosport1:46:103
10Pato O’Ward (F12)Arrow McLaren SP1:46:106
11Sebastien Bourdais (F12)A.J Foyt Enterprises1:46:222
12Ed Jones (F12)Dale Coyne Racing1:46:227
13Graham Rahal (G2)RLL1:46:277
14Scott Dixon (G1)Chip Ganassi Racing1:46:342
15Oliver Askew (G2)Ed Carpenter Racing1:46:290
16Conor Daly (G1)Ed Carpenter Racing1:46:397
17Marcus Ericsson (G2)Chip Ganassi Racing1:46:406
18Scott McLaughlin (G1)Team Penske1:46:862
19Takuma Sato (G2)RLL1:46:513
20James Hinchliffe (G1)Andretti Autosport1:47:029
21Max Chilton (G2)Carlin1:46:555
22Kevin Magnussen (G1)Arrow McLaren SP1:47:377
23Dalton Kellett (G2)A.J Foyt Enterprises1:46:978
24Jimmie Johnson (G1)Chip Ganassi Racing1:47:788
25Cody Ware (G2)Dale Coyne Racing1:47:732
(F6) = Fast Six; (F12) = Fast 12; (G1) = Group One; (G2) = Group Two
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If it's got an engine, I've watched it race. F2 and F3 correspondent with a sprinkling of speedway here and there.
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