Gateway IndyCar: Newgarden scores pole, Rossi struggles

Josef Newgarden took his eighth career IndyCar pole and his second of the season at World Wide Technology Raceway, while his closest title rival Alexander Rossi will be starting Saturday night’s race from the inside of the sixth row.

Gateway IndyCar: Newgarden scores pole, Rossi struggles

Team Penske-Chevrolet’s 2017 champion – and 2017 winner here at Gateway – set a two-lap average of 186.508mph to beat Sebastien Bourdais of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan by just under 0.6mph, which equates to 0.15sec around the 1.25-mile oval.

Several drivers were annoyed by the speedy-dry cement which had been thrown down in Turns 1 and 2 to soak up oil from the vintage Indy cars that had been lapping in the previous hour. But both Bourdais and Coyne teammate Santino Ferrucci appeared largely untroubled, the rookie backing up Bourdais’ performance with sixth on the grid.

Will Power, defending Gateway winner, and Simon Pagenaud will start the race from the second row, while Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda’s Takuma Sato clocked fifth- fastest.

Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe bounced back from a poor practice session, admitting he used rookie teammate Marcus Ericsson’s setup to land a strong P7.

Scott Dixon felt his Chip Ganassi Racing setup took too long to work his tires up to temperature and was disappointed with eighth, two spots ahead of rookie teammate Felix Rosenqvist.

The pair were separated by the fastest of the Andretti Autosport-Honda drivers, Ryan Hunter-Reay, but Rossi, now 36 points behind Newgarden after the Pocono shunt last week, will start only 11th, alongside semi-teammate Colton Herta.

Graham Rahal had a wild moment on the cement dust and had to back off, which explains why he is down in 16th, while Marco Andretti had an even worse moment, forcing him to back off the throttle to keep his car off the Turn 2 wall, and so will have to start at the back.

Qualifying results:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap Mph
1 2 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 48.2554   186.508
2 18 France Sébastien Bourdais United States Dale Coyne Racing 48.4062 0.1508 185.927
3 12 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 48.4142 0.1588 185.896
4 22 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 48.6110 0.3556 185.143
5 30 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 48.6356 0.3802 185.050
6 19 United States Santino Ferrucci United States Dale Coyne Racing 48.6934 0.4380 184.830
7 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 48.7931 0.5377 184.452
8 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 48.8354 0.580 184.293
9 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 48.8584 0.6030 184.206
10 10 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Chip Ganassi Racing 48.8785 0.6231 184.130
11 27 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 48.8945 0.6391 184.070
12 88 United States Colton Herta United States Harding Racing 49.0732 0.8178 183.399
13 21 United States Spencer Pigot United States Ed Carpenter Racing 49.1236 0.8682 183.211
14 7 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 49.1319 0.8765 183.180
15 26 United States Zach Veach United States Andretti Autosport 49.3025 1.0471 182.547
16 15 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 49.4328 1.1774 182.065
17 20 United States Ed Carpenter United States Ed Carpenter Racing 49.6321 1.3767 181.334
18 59 United States Conor Daly United Kingdom Carlin 50.1674 1.9120 179.399
19 23 United States Charlie Kimball United Kingdom Carlin 50.2844 2.0290 178.982
20 14 Brazil Tony Kanaan United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 50.2866 2.0312 178.974
21 4 Brazil Matheus Leist United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 50.4795 2.2241 178.290
22 98 United States Marco Andretti United States Andretti Autosport 51.3722 3.1168 175.192
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