IndyCar

Newgarden Takes Top Spot in Mid-Ohio Qualifying, Third Consecutive Pole

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(Photo Credit: Joe Skibinski / Courtesy of IndyCar)

Team Penske‘s Josef Newgarden made it a three-peat of pole positions this season, out-dueling Colton Herta in Q3 to take the pole for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio by just 0.0031 sec. Newgarden was able to get his final lap in after Herta had finished, and gets the best track position at a track where that is so critical.

The first group of Q1 started the session off with a bang, as plenty of controversy surrounded the finish of the session. Meyer Shank Racing‘s Jack Harvey, who was second fastest in the session to that point, spun at turn nine and stopped at the edge of the track just behind the timing and scoring line for qualifiyng. For a period of time no local caution was displayed as the last two cars of Alexander Rossi and Simon Pagenaud passed by.

Rossi slowed significantly on what would have been his fastest lap, and was set to miss out on Q2. Pagenaud did not slow down nearly as much in the local yellow zone and was able to improve into the top six of the group. Rob Edwards, Rossi’s strategist, said that they should go through and Pagenaud and Harvey should be penalized for not slowing down under the caution and causing the caution respectively. After much deliberation by the stewards, all three drivers were penalized and had their best lap times invalidated, with Rossi’s best being enough to see him through to Q2 while Pagenaud and Harvey were eliminated.

Will Power had struggles in this session as he needed an ECU replacement, but his crew got him on track with four minutes left which was enough for him to advance. The returning Felix Rosenqvist was also eliminated in this group after putting down what he thought was one of his best laps ever at Mid-Ohio.

Rosenqvist’s Arrow McLaren SP teammate Patricio O’Ward faced the same struggles, as he too was eliminated in Q1 as a part of the second group. O’Ward struggled with the higher track temperatures after going fastest in the morning practice session and will start twentieth. Also eliminated were Romain Grosjean, making his first exit in Q1 at a road course in IndyCar, and fellow rookie Scott McLaughlin who was knocked out at the very end of the session. IndyCar debutant Ryan Norman was also eliminated in this session. He will start last for Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing.

Chip Ganassi Racing took a gamble in Q2 as Alex Palou, Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson all started the session on slightly used red tyres after teams realized it took a bit longer than expected for them to get to their optimum range. This gave the team a better read on their setups before going to fresh reds at the end of the session. Shockingly, the championship leader Palou missed out on Q3 along with Sebastien Bourdais who had to serve a drive-through penalty during the session. Rinus Veekay, who is also returning from injury, was knocked out in this session and will start eleventh.

The Fast Six Q3 saw two cars represent each of IndyCar’s “Big Three”, with Newgarden snagging the pole for the Penske camp with a lap time of 01:06.673 as Herta lines up next to him flying the Andretti colors after setting a lap time of 01:06.677.

Ericsson was the highest-placing of the Ganassi cars, starting third after a tremendous lap time of 01:07.072. He will be joined by Power on row two, who survived his early gremlins and ECU change to come home in fourth place. Rounding out the fast six were Dixon in fifth with a lap time of 01:07.135 and Rossi, who after scraping through Q1, made it all the way to the Fast Six and starts sixth.

Palou will start seventh after narrowly missing out on Q3 and will be joined by hometown favorite Graham Rahal in eighth. Andretti Autosport rounded out the top ten with James Hinchcliffe in ninth place and Ryan Hunter-Reay tenth as rumors swirl about potential lineup changes coming to the team in 2022.

The Honda Indy 200 will take place tomorrow 04 July at 1200 EST / 1700 BST.

Honda Indy 200 Qualifying Results

RANKCAR NO.DRIVERNAT.TEAMTIME
12Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske01:06.673 sec.
226Colton HertaUSAAndretti Autosport01:06.677 sec.
38Marcus EricssonSWEChip Ganassi Racing01:07.072 sec.
412Will PowerAUSTeam Penske01:07.116 sec.
59Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing01:07.135 sec.
627Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Autosport01:07.218 sec.
710Alex PalouESPChip Ganassi Racing01:06.488 sec.
815Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing01:06.594 sec.
929James HinchcliffeCANAndretti Steinbrenner Autosport01:06.613 sec.
1028Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport01:06.751 sec.
1121Rinus VeeKayNEDEd Carpenter Racing01:06.767 sec.
1214Sebastien BourdaisFRAA.J. Foyt Enterprises01:06.923 sec.
137Felix RosenqvistSWEArrow McLaren SP01:06.789 sec.
143Scott McLaughlin (R)NZLTeam Penske01:06.731 sec.
1522Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske01:06.843 sec.
1618Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan01:06.788 sec.
1759Max ChiltonGBRCarlin01:06.847 sec.
1851Romain Grosjean (R)FRADale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing01:06.864 sec.
1930Takuma SatoJPNRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing01:07.095 sec.
205Pato O’WardMEXArrow McLaren SP01:06.867 sec.
214Dalton KellettCANA.J. Foyt Enterprises01:07.586 sec.
2245Santino FerrucciUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing01:06.925 sec.
2360Jack HarveyGBRMeyer Shank Racing01:07.674 sec.
2420Conor DalyUSAEd Carpenter Racing01:07.070 sec.
2548Jimmie Johnson (R)USAChip Ganassi Racing01:08.407 sec.
2652Ryan Norman (R)USADale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing01:07.471 sec.
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Lifelong sports junkie, currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Hofstra University. Lead writer for Indycar at The Checkered Flag.
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