Detroit IndyCar: Andretti takes brilliant pole for Race 1
Marco Andretti took his first pole position in almost five years, when he emerged from Group 2 of qualifying with a time almost half a second quicker than his closest opposition.
The Andretti-Herta Autosport-Honda driver danced the #98 car around the 2.35-mile street course in 1min14.8514sec, beating Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda’s Robert Wickens by 0.4753sec and, Andretti’s teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay by 0.4837sec.
Said Andretti: “I’m definitely embarrassed to say this is my first [road/street course pole]… Extremely pleased to execute today. Yesterday I knew we had the speed… so I knew we had it in the car. All I had to do was execute, and I was able to do that instead of just talking, ‘Oh we would have been first.’ Now we are.”
The qualifying system for Detroit double header has the field split in half, each group getting 12mins, with the faster group lining up 1-3-5-7- etc. the slower group on 2-4-6-8- etc. Thus Andretti will be joined on the front row by Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda, who topped Group 1 with a 1min 15.4186sec lap, just 0.076sec ahead of Alexander Rossi.
Thanks to being third fastest in that first group, Will Power will roll off sixth fastest, fastest Penske driver and also fastest Chevrolet-powered driver. After setting the fastest time of the group on primary compound, the Indy 500 winner then hit traffic while his alternate ‘reds’ were at their peak, and his 1min15.7210 was never going to be enough to stave off Dixon and Rossi
Last year’s winner of both Detroit races, Graham Rahal, will start eighth, while Carlin Racing-Chevrolet’s Max Chilton deserves special mention for finishing Group 1 in P5, beating Penske’s reigning champion Josef Newgarden. Chilton will therefore start 10th, the rookie team’s highest grid position.
IndyCar debutant Santino Ferrucci will start 18th in the #19 Dale Coyne Racing-Honda.
The first race begins today at 3.45pm local (Eastern) time. Grid order at the bottom of this page.
IndyCar, Detroit qualifying Group 2
IndyCar, Detroit qualifying Group 1
Thus the grid order will be:
1 Marco Andretti, Andretti-Herta Autosport-Honda
2 Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda
3 Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda
4 Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport-Honda
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport-Honda
6 Will Power, Team Penske-Chevrolet
7 Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda
8 Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda
9 James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda
10 Max Chilton, Carlin Racing-Chevrolet
11 Ed Jones, Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda
12 Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet
13 Simon Pagenaud, Penske-Chevrolet
14 Josef Newgarden, Penske-Chevrolet
15 Tony Kanaan, AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet
16 Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport-Honda
17 Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing-Honda
18 Santino Ferrucci, Dale Coyne Racing-Honda
19 Gabby Chaves, Harding Racing-Chevrolet
20 Jordan King, Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet
21 Matheus Leist, AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet
22 Charlie Kimball, Carlin Racing-Chevrolet
23 Rene Binder, Juncos Racing-Chevrolet
How Power won Indy, by the man who knows him best
Detroit IndyCar: Dixon scores 42nd victory, defeats Andretti trio