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St. Petersburg IndyCar: Power edges Newgarden for pole

St. Petersburg IndyCar: Power edges Newgarden for pole
Mar 9, 2019, 8:53 PM

Will Power scored his 55th career IndyCar pole and his eighth in 10 years at St. Petersburg after edging Team Penske-Chevrolet teammate Josef Newgarden by a mere 0.0976sec in a strange qualifying session.

Power lapped the 1.8-mile street course in 60.4594sec, an average speed of 107.179mph, to push Newgarden to the outside of the front row.

Felix Rosenqvist outqualified Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda teammate Scott Dixon and will start his first IndyCar race from third, within a quarter-second of pole and 0.16sec ahead of his reigning champion teammate.

Both drivers can be satisfied to outpace Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport-Honda, but both Ganassi drivers were somewhat lucky to be in the Fast Six.

Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s rookie Colton Herta was penalized his two best laps in Q2 for not moving offline on a slowdown lap as Charlie Kimball on a flyer approached him from behind.

Thus Herta didn’t reach the Fast Six, despite setting third-fastest time. He will start 11th for his second-ever IndyCar race.

His demotion allowed seventh-fastest car, that of fellow rookie Rosenqvist into the pole shootout.

In Q1 Group 2, Dixon spun on one of his flying laps and his next effort wasn’t good enough to get in. However, Sato brought out a local yellow by going down an escape road – and therefore caused a following car to slow down – and so he had his fastest time deleted.

That lost him his chance to advance into Q2 – he fell to 20th, in fact – and allowed Dixon back in.

Q1 Group 1 was messy thanks to being topped and tailed by red flags. Marco Andretti stopped in the entrance to pitlane, causing a red and therefore theoretically losing his two fastest laptimes –irrelevant as he hadn’t set a time and didn't have time to set one.

Soon after action resumed, Santino Ferrucci skated his Dale Coyne Racing-Honda straight on at Turn 13, and time ran out.

That left Carlin-Chevrolet’s Charlie Kimball leading those advancing into Q2, including rookie team DragonSpeed-Chevy with rookie driver Ben Hanley, who was fifth.

Key drivers to miss out due to the disruptions were Ferrucci’s teammate Sebastien Bourdais – two-time and defending St. Pete winner – and his compatriot Simon Pagenaud in the #22 Penske-Chevy.

Starting grid:

Pos. # Driver Team Time Gap Mph
1 12 Australia Will Power  United States Team Penske 1'00.4594   107.179
2 2 United States Josef Newgarden  United States Team Penske 1'00.5570 0.0976 107.007
3 10 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist  United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'00.6884 0.2290 106.775
4 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon  United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'00.8544 0.3950 106.484
5 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay  United States Andretti Autosport 1'01.0784 0.6190 106.093
6 27 United States Alexander Rossi  United States Andretti Autosport 1'01.7739 1.3145 104.899
7 60 United Kingdom Jack Harvey  United States Meyer Shank Racing 1'00.9531 (Q2) 0.4937 106.311
8 23 United States Charlie Kimball  United Kingdom Carlin 1'01.0146 (Q2) 0.5552 106.204
9 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe  United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'01.0185 (Q2) 0.5591 106.197
10 15 United States Graham Rahal  United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'01.0944 (Q2) 0.6350 106.065
11 88 United States Colton Herta  United States Harding Racing 1'01.4182 (Q2) 0.9588 105.506
12 81 United Kingdom Ben Hanley  United States DragonSpeed 1'02.3703 (Q2) 1.9109 103.896
13 22 France Simon Pagenaud  United States Team Penske 1'04.6298 (Q1 G1) 4.1704 100.263
14 26 United States Zach Veach  United States Andretti Autosport 1'00.9061 (Q1 G2) 0.4467 106.393
15 20 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones  United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'06.1422 (Q1 G1) 5.6828 97.971
16 21 United States Spencer Pigot  United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'00.9495 (Q1 G2) 0.4901 106.318
17 98 United States Marco Andretti  United States Andretti Autosport no time (Q1 G1) -  
18 7 Sweden Marcus Ericsson  United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'01.1345 (Q1 G2) 0.6751 105.996
19 18 France Sébastien Bourdais  United States Dale Coyne Racing no time (Q1 G1) -  
20 30 Japan Takuma Sato  United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'01.1511 (Q1 G2) 0.6917 105.967
21 14 Brazil Tony Kanaan  United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises no time (Q1 G1) -  
22 4 Brazil Matheus Leist  United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'01.1579 (Q1 G2) 0.6985 105.955
23 19 United States Santino Ferrucci  United States Dale Coyne Racing no time (Q1 G1) -  
24 59 United Kingdom Max Chilton  United Kingdom Carlin 1'01.3785 (Q1 G2) 0.9191 105.574
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About this article

Series IndyCar
Event St. Pete
Drivers Will Power
Teams Team Penske
Author David Malsher-Lopez