Barber IndyCar: Newgarden edges Power for pole

Josef Newgarden was just 0.0128sec faster than Penske teammate Will Power around Barber Motorsport Park, but it was enough to earn him his first pole of the 2018 IndyCar season.

Barber IndyCar: Newgarden edges Power for pole
Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Charlie Kimball, Carlin Chevrolet
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Newgarden, who set the fastest time of the weekend in Q2 with a 67.05s in Q2, then dug deep on used reds to notch a 67.4413sec and beat four-time Barber polesitter Power by barely more than a hundredth of a second.

The reigning champion also became IndyCar's fourth different pole-winner of the season.

Barely less impressive was Sebastien Bourdais’ P3 in the Dale Coyne Racing-Honda. The St. Petersburg winner wound up just 0.0924s off top spot, but quarter of a second ahead of Andretti Autosport-Honda’s Ryan Hunter-Reay. The 2012 champion, who won at this track in 2013 and ’14, is still seeking his first IndyCar win since August ’15.

James Hinchcliffe’s Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda was half a second off the top, yet that was still enough to narrowly eclipse the leading Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda of four-time champion Scott Dixon.

Hunter-Reay’s teammate Marco Andretti grabbed his best qualifying position of the year with seventh ahead of championship-leading teammate and Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi.

Simon Pagenaud was a surprising 0.78sec off teammate Newgarden in Q2 and will therefore line up only ninth, ahead of Schmidt Peterson’s second car, driven by rookie Robert Wickens.

One rookie who particularly impressed was Andretti’s fourth driver, Zach Veach, who advanced from Q1 from the first time to nail 11th. The fourth-place finisher in Long Beach is ill this weekend, but he did enough to edge the guy who beat him to the podium in last week’s race, Ed Jones.

Although neither driver escaped their respective Q1 qualifying groups, Carlin-Chevrolet could be reasonably content at being best of the rest, with Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton starting 13th and 14th.

By contrast, it was a bad day for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, with Graham Rahal admitting to errors at Turns 2 and 9 and Takuma Sato understeering off at Turn 5. The pair will start 15th and 18th respectively.

In 21st and 23rd will be the two AJ Foyt Racing-Chevys, with Matheus Leist having been slowest in Q1 Group 1, and Tony Kanaan spinning as he exited pitlane for his final stab at advancing to Q2 in the second group.

The Brazilian veteran backed his car into the tire wall, lost his best times and brought the session to a premature end.

Q3 

ClaDriverLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 1 united_states  Josef Newgarden  3 1'07.4413     122.773
2 12 australia  Will Power  4 1'07.4541 0.0128 0.0128 122.750
3 18 france  Sébastien Bourdais  2 1'07.5337 0.0924 0.0796 122.605
4 28 united_states  Ryan Hunter-Reay  3 1'07.7807 0.3394 0.2470 122.159
5 5 canada  James Hinchcliffe  3 1'07.9472 0.5059 0.1665 121.859
6 9 new_zealand  Scott Dixon  3 1'08.0303 0.5890 0.0831 121.710

Q2

ClaDriverLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 1 united_states  Josef Newgarden  5 1'07.0583     123.475
2 12 australia  Will Power  4 1'07.2628 0.2045 0.2045 123.099
3 5 canada  James Hinchcliffe  5 1'07.3797 0.3214 0.1169 122.886
4 9 new_zealand  Scott Dixon  5 1'07.4595 0.4012 0.0798 122.740
5 28 united_states  Ryan Hunter-Reay  5 1'07.5323 0.4740 0.0728 122.608
6 18 france  Sébastien Bourdais  6 1'07.5435 0.4852 0.0112 122.588
7 98 united_states  Marco Andretti  3 1'07.6027 0.5444 0.0592 122.480
8 27 united_states  Alexander Rossi  5 1'07.7488 0.6905 0.1461 122.216
9 22 france  Simon Pagenaud  5 1'07.8409 0.7826 0.0921 122.050
10 6 canada  Robert Wickens  6 1'07.8455 0.7872 0.0046 122.042
11 26 united_states  Zach Veach  5 1'07.9894 0.9311 0.1439 121.784
12 10 united_arab_emirates  Ed Jones  6 1'08.4386 1.3803 0.4492 120.984

Q1 Group 2

ClaDriverLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 12 australia  Will Power  3 1'08.1087     121.570
2 18 france  Sébastien Bourdais  3 1'08.2597 0.1510 0.1510 121.301
3 26 united_states  Zach Veach  3 1'08.2785 0.1698 0.0188 121.268
4 27 united_states  Alexander Rossi  3 1'08.3649 0.2562 0.0864 121.115
5 22 france  Simon Pagenaud  3 1'08.4089 0.3002 0.0440 121.037
6 9 new_zealand  Scott Dixon  4 1'08.4262 0.3175 0.0173 121.006
7 23 united_states  Charlie Kimball  2 1'08.5494 0.4407 0.1232 120.789
8 19 canada  Zachary Claman De Melo  3 1'08.5531 0.4444 0.0037 120.782
9 30 japan  Takuma Sato  3 1'08.5676 0.4589 0.0145 120.757
10 88 colombia  Gabby Chaves  4 1'08.9763 0.8676 0.4087 120.041
11 32 austria  Rene Binder  4 1'09.5404 1.4317 0.5641 119.067
12 14 brazil  Tony Kanaan  3 1'11.2015 3.0928 1.6611 116.290

Q1 Group 1

ClaDriverLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 1 united_states  Josef Newgarden  4 1'07.5643     122.550
2 28 united_states  Ryan Hunter-Reay  6 1'07.5665 0.0022 0.0022 122.546
3 5 canada  James Hinchcliffe  6 1'07.5669 0.0026 0.0004 122.545
4 6 canada  Robert Wickens  6 1'07.7610 0.1967 0.1941 122.194
5 98 united_states  Marco Andretti  5 1'07.7832 0.2189 0.0222 122.154
6 10 united_arab_emirates  Ed Jones  7 1'07.9193 0.3550 0.1361 121.909
7 59 united_kingdom  Max Chilton  6 1'08.0235 0.4592 0.1042 121.723
8 15 united_states  Graham Rahal  6 1'08.1038 0.5395 0.0803 121.579
9 21 united_states  Spencer Pigot  6 1'08.1184 0.5541 0.0146 121.553
10 20 united_kingdom  Jordan King  6 1'08.3997 0.8354 0.2813 121.053
11 4 brazil  Matheus Leist  6 1'08.5516 0.9873 0.1519 120.785
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