IndyCar Road America: Newgarden beats Harvey to pole

Team Penske Chevrolet’s Josef Newgarden slipped in a brilliant lap at the very end of IndyCar qualifying at Road America to claim his second pole of the season, while for a second straight race, Jack Harvey landed a front-row spot for Meyer Shank Racing-Honda.

IndyCar Road America: Newgarden beats Harvey to pole

As is customary for NTT IndyCar Series double-header weekends at road and street courses, the more usual qualifying format was replaced. Positions at the end of morning practice defined how the field was divided in two – odd-numbered in one group, even-numbered in the other – with the fastest driver (in this case Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Will Power) getting to choose which group went out first. The fastest driver of the two groups would earn pole and thereby grant ‘his’ group all the odd-numbered positions on the grid, while the fastest driver from the other group would earn outside front row spot and this group would fill out all the even-numbered positions on the grid.

So that the track was rubbered in as much as possible, Power inevitably chose his group to go out second, yet for much of the session, it seemed as if Harvey’s top time from Group 1 – 1min45.729 – would stand strong and give him his first pole.

However a three-way struggle in Group 2 between Newgarden, teammate Power and Andretti Autosport-Honda’s Ryan Hunter-Reay, saw Newgarden set a 1min45.519 to claim his 15th pole in IndyCar. Hunter-Reay fell 0.1372sec short of that mark, while Power overcooked his last lap of the 4.014-mile course and was three-tenths down.

Said Newgarden: "The boys worked really hard trying to turn around from the GP. It’s been a fast day and the guys have had to be on-it with their decision-making. Compared to practice, I think we tried to get a little cheeky with our tire usage, and we were a little off-page with the other people, but Gavin [Ward, race engineer] and me tried to figure out the pieces that were good and put them back on the car then it worked out really well. So now, we’ve got to worry about the race car.

"Chevy gave us a great package. I think we made huge steps from where we were last year here."

Group 1 was far closer at the top, Graham Rahal’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda taking just 0.03sec longer than Harvey to complete his flyer, as Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan’s Santino Ferrucci was very impressive, just another 0.04sec back.

Scott Dixon, winner of the first two races of 2020, was fifth fastest in the second group, just ahead of last year’s dominant winner at Road America, Alexander Rossi.

Today's race gets the green flag at 5.08pm ET. 

GROUP 2

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Mph
1 United States Josef Newgarden
United States Team Penske 1'45.519 136.946
2 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
United States Andretti Autosport 1'45.656 0.137 136.768
3 Australia Will Power
United States Team Penske 1'45.824 0.305 136.551
4 United States Colton Herta
Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport 1'45.860 0.341 136.504
5 New Zealand Scott Dixon
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'45.932 0.413 136.412
6 United States Alexander Rossi
United States Andretti Autosport 1'46.136 0.617 136.149
7 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'46.298 0.778 135.942
8 Japan Takuma Sato
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'46.536 1.017 135.638
9 France Simon Pagenaud
United States Team Penske 1'46.709 1.189 135.419
10 United States Conor Daly
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'46.811 1.292 135.289
11 United States Oliver Askew
Arrow McLaren SP 1'47.113 1.594 134.908
12 Canada Dalton Kellett
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'47.576 2.057 134.327

GROUP 1

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Mph
1 United Kingdom Jack Harvey
United States Meyer Shank Racing 1'45.729 136.674
2 United States Graham Rahal
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'45.759 0.030 136.635
3 United States Santino Ferrucci
Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan 1'45.769 0.040 136.621
4 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'45.846 0.117 136.522
5 United States Marco Andretti
Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco & Curb-Agajani 1'45.988 0.259 136.339
6 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
Arrow McLaren SP 1'46.035 0.306 136.279
7 Spain Alex Palou
Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh 1'46.126 0.397 136.163
8 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'46.130 0.401 136.157
9 United Kingdom Max Chilton
United Kingdom Carlin 1'46.387 0.658 135.828
10 United States Zach Veach
United States Andretti Autosport 1'46.470 0.741 135.722
11 United States Charlie Kimball
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'47.686 1.957 134.190
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IndyCar Road America: Power leads Harvey, Newgarden in practice
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IndyCar Road America: Power leads Harvey, Newgarden in practice

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