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Road America IndyCar: Herta beats Rossi, scores first pole

Colton Herta snatched pole position at Road America to become the youngest pole-winner in IndyCar history just three months after becoming the series’ youngest race winner.

Road America IndyCar: Herta beats Rossi, scores first pole

The Harding Steinbrenner Racing-Honda driver, 19 years and 83 days old, lapped the 4.014-mile course in 1min42.9920sec, edging Andretti Autosport-Honda’s Alexander Rossi by 0.1773sec. Herta chose to run two hot laps on one set of tires in the Firestone Fast Six shootout, whereas his closest opponents, Rossi and Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Will Power, took on two used sets in the course of the eight-minute session, running one hot lap on each.

Chevrolet, which has appeared somewhat outgunned this weekend, will nonetheless fill out Row 2, as Power will be joined by teammate and championship leader Josef Newgarden, who was 0.6sec off Herta’s fastest.

The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda team made an excellent comeback from its struggles in practice, with Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato locking out Row 3.

Sebastien Bourdais’ Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda will start seventh after not quite being in the hunt so far this weekend, and he will line up beside Spencer Pigot’s Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy.

James Hinchcliffe qualified ninth in the #5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda, edging Marco Andretti by just 0.0131sec who was a tenth quicker than Ed Jones in the second ECR car.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon was fast enough to make it through Q1 Group 1 but from Turn 12 on his final lap his car was trailing smoke and he pitted with an apparently expired Honda, so was left unable to compete in Q2. Ganassi’s misery was doubled by rookie Felix Rosenqvist failing to progress from Q1 Group 2.

Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay was the most surprising elimination in Q1, because he had been fast in practice, but he got caught up behind Bourdais on an out lap, and then had a very loose moment through Turn 3 on his next attempt at a flyer.

Penske’s latest Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud lost time on what should have been his best lap when he ran wide at Turn 7, and he failed to advance from Q1 by 0.03sec, and will line up 16th.

Santino Ferrucci was eliminated in Q1 when his car slowed as he came up the pit straight and he came to a halt at pit exit, but pulled off and onto the grass.

GRID ORDER:

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Mph
1 United States Colton Herta
Harding Racing 1'42.9920 140.306
2 United States Alexander Rossi
Andretti Autosport 1'43.1693 0.1773 140.065
3 Australia Will Power
Team Penske 1'43.3749 0.3829 139.786
4 United States Josef Newgarden
Team Penske 1'43.6036 0.6116 139.478
5 United States Graham Rahal
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'43.8076 0.8156 139.204
6 Japan Takuma Sato
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'43.8790 0.8870 139.108
7 France Sébastien Bourdais
Dale Coyne Racing 1'43.2989 0.3069 139.889
8 United States Spencer Pigot
Ed Carpenter Racing 1'43.3083 0.3163 139.876
9 Canada James Hinchcliffe
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'43.3814 0.3894 139.778
10 United States Marco Andretti
Andretti Autosport 1'43.3945 0.4025 139.760
11 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
Ed Carpenter Racing 1'43.5162 0.5242 139.596
12 New Zealand Scott Dixon
Chip Ganassi Racing No Time No Speed
13 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
Carlin 1'43.6061 0.6141 139.474
14 United States Zach Veach
Andretti Autosport 1'43.4488 0.4568 139.686
15 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
Andretti Autosport 1'43.6980 0.7060 139.351
16 France Simon Pagenaud
Team Penske 1'43.4764 0.4844 139.649
17 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'43.8913 0.8993 139.092
18 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
Chip Ganassi Racing 1'43.5038 0.5118 139.612
19 United Kingdom Jack Harvey
Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow SPM 1'44.6179 1.6259 138.126
20 Brazil Matheus Leist
A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'43.8570 0.8650 139.137
21 United States Santino Ferrucci
Dale Coyne Racing 1'49.3060 6.3140 132.201
22 United Kingdom Max Chilton
Carlin 1'43.8745 0.8825 139.114
23 Brazil Tony Kanaan
A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'44.4183 1.4263 138.390
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About this article

Series IndyCar
Event Road America
Drivers Colton Herta
Author David Malsher-Lopez
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