Pagenaud on pole as Chevrolet dominates at Iowa

Simon Pagenaud took his fifth pole position of the season as Chevrolet almost barred Honda from the Top 10 qualifying slots.

Pagenaud on pole as Chevrolet dominates at Iowa
Max Chilton, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Iowa Speedway
Conor Daly, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Mikhail Aleshin, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport Honda

Championship leader Pagenaud lived up to the promise he showed in testing here last week and sent his #22 Team Penske-Chevrolet around the bumpy 0.894 oval at an average speed of 185.855mph over his two laps, setting a target that couldn’t be beaten.

It was the 500th pole for Team Penske across all series.

Pagenaud's closest pursuer was Josef Newgarden of Ed Carpenter Racing, the two-time Iowa runner-up falling 0.2mph short.

Helio Castroneves was third for Penske ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s top qualifier Max Chilton, who thus scored the best qualifying result of his rookie season.

It was a Ganassi lock-out on Row 3, with Charlie Kimball edging this morning’s pacesetter Tony Kanaan.

The second Carpenter car of Ed Carpenter will line up seventh, alongside Penske’s Will Power.

Ninth place went to Schmidt Peterson Motorsport-Honda’s Mikhail Aleshin, the only Honda-powered driver to put Chevrolets behind him. He beat Scott Dixon’s Ganassi entry, after the reigning champion had an understeering moment off Turn 4 on his warm-up lap which cost him momentum and obliged him to change down to fourth.

Andretti Autosport-Honda, which has won the last six Iowa Corn 300s, had a grim session, and its four drivers will line up between 15th and 20th.

The spread of speeds from pole to P22 was a remarkable 10mph, as the second SPM car of James Hinchcliffe could manage only 175.037mph.

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