“Code brown” lap earns Castroneves pole at Phoenix

Like several drivers, Team Penske-Chevrolet driver Helio Castroneves had a ‘moment’ on his qualifying run, but kept his foot in to land pole position in IndyCar’s return to Phoenix International Raceway.

With a first lap of 192.631mph and a second of 192.018mph, the three-time Indy 500 winner set an average of 192.324mph. The time drop-off in his second lap, reflected his bobble at Turn 4 which he laughingly described as a “code brown moment”.

He said: “It happens so quick you don’t react. You’re just a passenger.

“I’m going to the paddock to change something… but not the car. The car was perfect.”

Alongside him on the front row will be his long-time friend and rival, fellow Brazilian veteran Tony Kanaan, who clocked a 191.544mph average in the #10 Ganassi-Chevrolet.

Their respective teammates Juan Montoya and Charlie Kimball will line up third and fourth.

Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy duo Ed Carpenter and Josef Newgarden couldn’t quite match their practice performance from this morning and will start fifth and seventh, split by Ganassi’s reigning champion Scott Dixon. The fourth Ganassi entry, Max Chilton, will start top rookie in eighth

Will Power and Simon Pagenaud put their Penske entries ninth and 10th, to complete a day of domination for Chevrolet.

As in this morning’s practice, it was Andretti Autosport who led the Honda hordes, with Marco Andretti leading the way in 11th ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay. Their rookie teammate Alexander Rossi will start 14th for his first oval race, alongside Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda driver Mikhail Aleshin.

Carlos Munoz had a heavy shunt in Turn 1, the third of the day, and his Andretti Autosport entry will start the race from the back of the grid along with James Hinchcliffe (SPM) and Takuma Sato (AJ Foyt Racing), who were unable to participate in qualifying due to the damage their cars sustained in morning practice.

Graham Rahal arguably had the greatest escape of the session, when his car let go at the rear in Turn 1, and he skipped high up the track but kept it off the wall. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda driver will line up 19th.

IndyCar 2016 - Phoenix - Qualifying
1 3 Helio Castroneves Penske (C) 38.2604
2 11 Tony Kanaan Ganassi (C) 38.4228
3 2 Juan Pablo Montoya Penske (C) 38.4520
4 83 Charlie Kimball Ganassi (C) 38.4813
5 20 Ed Carpenter Carpenter (C) 38.5700
6 9 Scott Dixon Ganassi (C) 38.6519
7 21 Josef Newgarden Carpenter (C) 38.7093
8 8 Max Chilton Ganassi (C) 38.7341
9 12 Will Power Penske (C) 38.7797
10 22 Simon Pagenaud Penske (C) 38.7990
11 27 Marco Andretti Andretti (H) 38.9188
12 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti (H) 38.9403
13 7 Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt (H) 39.1409
14 98 Alexander Rossi Andretti-Herta (H) 39.3625
15 11 Sébastien Bourdais KVSH (C) 39.4460
16 19 Luca Filippi Coyne (H) 39.6009
17 41 Jack Hawksworth Foyt (H) 39.7653
18 18 Conor Daly Coyne (H) 39.9347
19 15 Graham Rahal Rahal (H) 40.9323
20 26 Carlos Muñoz Andretti (H) No time
21 5 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt (H) No time
22 14 Takuma Sato Foyt (H) No time
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About this article
Series IndyCar
Event Phoenix
Track Phoenix International Raceway
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Carlos Munoz
Article type Qualifying report