Pagenaud edges Power to grab sixth pole of the year

Simon Pagenaud produced a brilliant record-setting 63.87sec lap to beat teammate and title rival Will Power to pole position at Mid-Ohio, by 0.0681sec.

Pagenaud edges Power to grab sixth pole of the year

The Frenchman, who despite leading the championship hasn’t won a race since the Grand Prix of Indianapolis in May, reminded everyone why he’s top of the points table with a drive that earned Team Penske its 244th pole position in Indy car competition.

Pagenaud completed his run despite suffering severe pain in his lower back, which he's been struggling with since first practice. Power, meanwhile, produced the fastest final sector but "screwed up the Keyhole", which is the fast Turn 2 hairpin. 

Best of the rest was Josef Newgarden whose Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet was a quarter-second off Pagenaud’s best, but two-tenths clear of Ryan Hunter-Reay’s Andretti Autosport-Honda.

Another Honda driver to reach the Firestone Fast Six was last year’s Mid-Ohio winner Graham Rahal, who wheeled his #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan car to sixth on the grid. Top Chip Ganassi Racing-Chevy car was the impressive Charlie Kimball whose sole IndyCar victory came here three years ago.

Row 4, like Row 1, will be all Penske, as Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya failed to escape Q2.

Rain sprinkles in the closing stages of Q2 appeared to slow the track temporarily before drying again, but not before championship contender and Mid-Ohio demi-god Scott Dixon had pulled in, and the #9 Ganassi car tumbled to 11th in the order. Other drivers to suffer from that late surge from their rivals were the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Hondas of James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin, who held the top two spots for most of Q2 but dropped to ninth and 10th at the end of the session.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Max Chilton was unlucky to get bumped in the dying seconds of Q1G1, and the same went for his teammate Tony Kanaan. TK has looked just two tenths off teammate all weekend, but when it mattered, on soft red tires, he was four tenths behind, and he was dumped out of the Top 12 by a great run by Andretti Autosport-Honda’s Alexander Rossi.

Sebastien Bourdais was a surprise loser in Q1, and the KVSH Racing driver, who started from pole here just two years ago, will line up 16th tomorrow. 

Mid-Ohio Qualifying
P.DriverTeam (Engine)Time/deficit
1 22  Simon Pagenaud http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Pagenaud_s.png Penske (C) 1:03.8700
2 12  Will Power http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Power_s.png Penske (C) 1:03.9381
3 21  Josef Newgarden http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Newgarden_s.png Carpenter (C) 1:04.1200
4 28  Ryan Hunter-Reay http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Hunter-Reay_s.png Andretti (H) 1:04.3265
5 83  Charlie Kimball http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Kimball_s.png Ganassi (C) 1:04.3644
6 15  Graham Rahal http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Rahal_s.png Rahal (H) 1:04.4697
7 3  Helio Castroneves http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Castroneves_s.png Penske (C) 1:04.4300
8 2  Juan Pablo Montoya http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Montoya_s.png Penske (C) 1:04.5141
9 5  James Hinchcliffe http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Hinchcliffe_s.png Schmidt (H) 1:04.5796
10 7  Mikhail Aleshin http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Aleshin_s.png Schmidt (H) 1:04.6084
11 9  Scott Dixon http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Dixon_s.png Ganassi (C) 1:04.6554
12 98  Alexander Rossi http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Rossi_s.png Andretti-Herta (H) 1:04.8082
13 8  Max Chilton http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Chilton_s.png Ganassi (C) 1:04.7752
14 10  Tony Kanaan http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Kanaan_s.png Ganassi (C) 1:04.5885
15 26  Carlos Muñoz http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Munoz_s.png Andretti (H) 1:04.8621
16 11  Sébastien Bourdais http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Bourdais_s.png KVSH (C) 1:04.5967
17 41  Jack Hawksworth http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Hawksworth_s.png Foyt (H) 1:05.0196
18 19  R.C. Enerson http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Enerson_s.png Coyne (H) 1:04.6576
19 20  Spencer Pigot http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Pigot_s.png Carpenter (C) 1:05.1891
20 14  Takuma Sato http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Sato_s.png Foyt (H) 1:04.8354
21 27  Marco Andretti http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Andretti_s.png Andretti (H) 1:05.1997
22 18  Conor Daly http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/13-MidOhio/Daly_s.png Coyne (H) 1:05.1098

(C) = Chevrolet, (H) = Honda

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