Opinion

Josef Newgarden Beats Colton Herta To IndyCar Pole By 0.0031 Seconds

Illustration for article titled Josef Newgarden Beats Colton Herta To IndyCar Pole By 0.0031 Seconds

Photo: Chris Owens / IndyCar Media

The IndyCar race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course always promises to be a great one, but this weekend, the competition is even closer than usual. Few things show that more than this afternoon’s qualifying session, where Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden topped Colton Herta of Andretti Autosport by 0.0031 seconds.

The day wasn’t as promising for Newgarden’s Penske compatriots. Will Power suffered an electrical failure during his out lap but still managed to set a decent time. Jack Harvey of Meyer Shank Racing stopped just past the checkered flag with a great time but had his lap deleted for stopping dangerously. Alexander Rossi and Simon Pagenaud both suffered a penalty for setting fast laps while Harvey was stopped. That moved Newgarden, Alex Palou, Power, Graham Rahal, Sebastien Bourdais, and Rossi into the Fast 12.

There was much less chaos in the second group of qualifiers. Herta was instantly quick ahead of the Chip Ganassi Racing duo of Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson, who took second and third in the session. Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe also headed to the next round, which meant that the full Andretti Autosport quad made it in. Rinus Veekay made a stellar showing, returning from a broken clavicle to move into the Fast 12.

During the Fast 12 round, Bourdais incurred a drive-through penalty that slashed his shot at pole. It was a heater for the rest of the field, with Newgarden, Herta, Power, Rossi, Dixon, and Ericsson all moving on to the Fast Six. Those first two drivers continued to maintain those fast speeds all the way through pole time.

That’s three poles in a row for Newgarden.

Here’s how the full grid will look coming into tomorrow’s race:

  1. Josef Newgarden (Team Penske)
  2. Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport)
  3. Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi Racing)
  4. Will Power (Team Penske)
  5. Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing)
  6. Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport)
  7. Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing)
  8. Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)
  9. James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport)
  10. Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport)
  11. Rinus Veekay (Ed Carpenter Racing)
  12. Sebastian Bourdais (A. J. Foyt Enterprises)
  13. Felix Rosenqvist (Arrow McLaren SP)
  14. Scott McLaughlin (Team Penske)
  15. Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske)
  16. Ed Jones (Dale Coyne Racing)
  17. Max Chilton (Carlin)
  18. Romain Grosjean (Dale Coyne Racing)
  19. Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)
  20. Pato O’Ward (Arrow McLaren SP)
  21. Dalton Kellett (A. J. Foyt Enterprises)
  22. Santino Ferrucci (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)
  23. Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing)
  24. Conor Daly (Ed Carpenter Racing)
  25. Jimmie Johnson (Chip Ganassi Racing)
  26. Ryan Norman (Dale Coyne Racing)

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