In Chevrolet’s backyard, Team Penske‘s Josef Newgarden takes pole for the Detroit Grand Prix, the seventh different driver in as many races to sit on the pole.
In the final lap of the Fast Six session, the American snatched the pole from Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing‘s Takuma Sato, who will start next to Newgarden in second.
“That was good pole,” Newgarden said post-session. “You know sometimes the car is just so good that it’s hooked up, I was so loose today but we put it together so I’m really proud of the team.”
Newgarden has been in this position before, specifically the second race of last year’s doubleheader, where he dominated from the pole but saw the win slip away in the final laps. He is determined to not let that happen again.
“…We’ve got to be really focused on the race and how we’re going to get to the end and finish it off.”
The second row is a Meyer Shank Racing lockout, with Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves starting third and fourth respectively. Both drivers won their first races at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and are in a good position to win the last before the race moves to downtown Detroit in 2023.
Pato O’Ward starts fifth alongside rookie David Malukas, who put on a brilliant performance. The young American fought some of the top drivers in the field to go fastest in his group in the first round of qualifying as well as second fastest in the Fast Twelve to make his first Fast Six.
The Fast Twelve ended with a red flag for Romain Grosjean at the end of the session, catching many top contenders out on fast laps. The Swiss-born Frenchman caught the outside wall in Turn 11, breaking a tow link, before losing control and pounding the concrete barrier in Turn 12. Thankfully, he was unharmed, but was visibly frustrated with the mistake.
“We sucked,” Grosjean said. “I don’t know why.”
This left Colton Herta, Marcus Ericsson, Scott Dixon, Scott McLaughlin, and Alexander Rossi unable to improve on their laps, which some were on pace to do. They will occupy rows four through six along with Grosjean.
Notable first round exits included Conor Daly and Graham Rahal in Group One, with Daly missing out by less than one tenth of a second while Rahal and the entire Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing camp continue to struggle to find pace. All of their cars were eliminated in the first round of qualifying.
Kyle Kirkwood, who was fastest in first practice on Friday, was another driver who narrowly missed out on advancing. His Saturday did not go according to plan, after a crash at the beginning of second practice along with a mechanical issue kept him away from valuable track time. He will start fifteenth.
In Group Two, Rinus Veekay, Alex Palou, and Will Power were all eliminated, along with Felix Rosenqvist who was penalized for qualifying interference. Coming out of the pits, the Arrow McLaren SP driver was unaware of Jimmie Johnson on a lap behind, and thus the Swede lost his two fastest lap times. Those times could have possibly seen him advance into the Fast Twelve.
Dalton Kellett was unable to set a time as the team continued repairs for a crash suffered in second practice on Saturday morning.
Newgarden will lead the field to green for the final time at Belle Isle on Sunday, 05 June at 1200 PST / 1500 EST / 1800 GMT.
Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit Qualifying Results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||NAT.||TEAM||BEST TIME|
|1||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||01:15.2153|
|2||51||Takuma Sato||JPN||Dale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing||01:15.3490|
|3||60||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Meyer Shank Racing||01:15.3951|
|4||06||Helio Castroneves||BRA||Meyer Shank Racing||01:15.4538|
|5||5||Pato O’Ward||MEX||Arrow McLaren SP||01:16.3301|
|6||18||David Malukas (R)||USA||Dale Coyne Racing w/ HMD Motorsports||01:16.6104|
|7||26||Colton Herta||USA||Andretti Autosport||01:15.1043|
|8||8||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Chip Ganassi Racing||01:15.2279|
|9||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||01:15.4057|
|10||3||Scott McLaughlin||NZL||Team Penske||01:15.8670|
|11||27||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Autosport||01:16.2179|
|12||28||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Andretti Autosport||01:16.9740|
|13||20||Conor Daly||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||01:16.0154|
|14||21||Rinus VeeKay||NED||Ed Carpenter Racing||01:15.5482|
|15||14||Kyle Kirkwood (R)||USA||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||01:16.1255|
|16||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||01:15.5731|
|17||77||Santino Ferrucci||USA||Juncos Hollinger Racing||01:16.1390|
|18||10||Alex Palou||ESP||Chip Ganassi Racing||01:15.6121|
|19||30||Christian Lundgaard (R)||DEN||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||01:16.3068|
|20||45||Jack Harvey||GBR||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||01:16.8347|
|21||29||Devlin DeFrancesco (R)||CAN||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||01:16.3374|
|22||48||Jimmie Johnson||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||01:17.5499|
|23||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||01:16.4265|
|24||11||Tatiana Calderon (R)||COL||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||01:18.3657|
|25||4||Dalton Kellett||CAN||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||No Time|
|26||7||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Arrow McLaren SP||01:18.6291|