Portland IndyCar: Palou takes first pole as Penskes falter

Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s Alex Palou beat Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi to score his first ever IndyCar pole position on a day when all four Penske-Chevys failed to graduate from Q1.

Firestone Fast Six

Palou laid down a 58.7701sec lap around the 1.964-mile Portland International Raceway to beat Rossi by a mere 0.0872sec in the Firestone Fast Six and claim his first ever pole.

Palou’s six-time championship-winning teammate Scott Dixon was a mere 0.01sec further adrift, ahead of his erstwhile teammate Felix Rosenqvist, the fastest of the Chevrolet runners.

Graham Rahal achieved his best qualifying result of the season with fifth for Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda.

Colton Herta, polesitter here in 2019, took the brave gamble to try and take pole using the Firestone primary tires but came off half a second short.

P

No

Name

FTime

Diff

Gap

FL

Laps

LapTime

LPit

Led

ST

FSpeed

Elapsed

Engine

Tire

Points

Team

1

10

Alex Palou

58.7701

58.7701

0.000

4

4

58.7701

0

 

1

120.306

6:07.0052

Honda

A

8

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

27

Alexander Rossi

58.8573

0.0872

0.0872

3

3

58.8573

0

 

5

120.128

5:49.2850

Honda

A

17

Andretti Autosport

3

9

Scott Dixon

58.8673

0.0972

0.0100

3

4

1:00.3659

0

 

2

120.107

6:14.5117

Honda

A

7

Chip Ganassi Racing

4

7

Felix Rosenqvist

58.9505

0.1804

0.0832

3

3

58.9505

0

 

6

119.938

5:03.9528

Chevy

A

5

Arrow McLaren SP

5

15

Graham Rahal

59.0067

0.2366

0.0562

4

4

59.0067

0

 

3

119.824

6:17.0784

Honda

A

11

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

6

26

Colton Herta

59.2796

0.5095

0.2729

4

4

59.2796

0

 

4

119.272

6:26.3992

Honda

P

16

Andretti Autosport

 

Q2

The PNC Bank-colored Ganassi-Hondas of Alex Palou and Scott Dixon topped the session, appearing to shave a tenth off every time they went out, but the big surprise was Graham Rahal usurping Colton Herta at the last minute to grab third.

A mere 0.0112sec adrift of Herta was Andretti Autosport teammate Alexander Rossi, while Felix Rosenqvist knocked his Arrow McLaren SP teammate Pato O’Ward aside by a mere 0.0058sec to make it through.

Ed Jones of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan was eighth, a sliver ahead of impressive fellow former Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew in the second #45 RLL-Honda, about 0.15sec behind teammate Rahal.

Marcus Ericsson was 10th for Ganassi, ahead of Max Chilton’s Carlin-Chevy and Sebastien Bourdais in the AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy.

P

No

Name

FTime

Diff

Gap

FL

Laps

LapTime

LPit

Led

ST

FSpeed

Elapsed

Engine

Tire

Points

Team

1

10

Alex Palou

58.7691

58.7691

0.000

8

8

58.7691

5

 

4

120.308

10:11.2307

Honda

A

8

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

9

Scott Dixon

58.8200

0.0509

0.0509

8

8

58.8200

5

 

8

120.204

10:08.4803

Honda

A

7

Chip Ganassi Racing

3

15

Graham Rahal

58.9338

0.1647

0.1138

8

8

58.9338

4

 

3

119.972

10:17.5926

Honda

A

11

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

4

26

Colton Herta

58.9459

0.1768

0.0121

6

7

59.0148

4

 

6

119.947

9:50.9546

Honda

A

16

Andretti Autosport

5

27

Alexander Rossi

58.9571

0.1880

0.0112

8

8

58.9571

5

 

5

119.924

10:01.8791

Honda

A

17

Andretti Autosport

6

7

Felix Rosenqvist

58.9629

0.1938

0.0058

8

8

58.9629

5

 

2

119.913

10:27.9797

Chevy

A

5

Arrow McLaren SP

7

5

Pato O'Ward

58.9732

0.2041

0.0103

7

8

59.0516

4

 

11

119.892

10:13.6580

Chevy

A

4

Arrow McLaren SP

8

18

Ed Jones

59.0247

0.2556

0.0515

8

8

59.0247

5

 

10

119.787

10:32.1859

Honda

A

12

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan

9

45

Oliver Askew

59.0837

0.3146

0.0590

7

8

59.1635

4

 

9

119.668

10:36.0689

Honda

A

34

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

10

8

Marcus Ericsson

59.0901

0.3210

0.0064

8

8

59.0901

5

 

1

119.655

9:58.1162

Honda

A

6

Chip Ganassi Racing

11

59

Max Chilton

59.2346

0.4655

0.1445

5

8

1:03.7663

2

 

7

119.363

10:43.3597

Chevy

A

23

Carlin

12

14

Sebastien Bourdais

59.2419

0.4728

0.0073

7

8

59.5512

4

 

12

119.348

10:25.0627

Chevy

A

10

AJ Foyt Enterprises

 

Q1 Group 2

This morning’s pacesetter Alex Palou was the fastest driver on the Firestone primary tires, his 59.2883sec lap able to withstand Josef Newgarden’s first flyer on the alternate compound tires. However, then the times started to tumble as everyone took on reds, and it was Felix Rosenqvist who slotted his Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet in top spot ahead of Palou, Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta, a tremendous last-gasp effort from Scott Dixon (Ganassi), an impressive fifth by Ed Jones (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan-Honda) and sixth for two-time Portland winner Sebastien Bourdais in AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy.

Remarkably, the elimination of Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud meant none of the Penskes made it even to Q2.

Meyer Shank Racing-Honda could be disappointed that their practice promise meant nothing, with Jack Harvey failing to progress.

Takuma Sato and Rinus VeeKay failed to make it through but both will be receiving 6-place grid penalties anyway for early engine changes.

P

No

Name

FTime

Diff

Gap

FL

Laps

LapTime

LPit

Led

ST

FSpeed

Elapsed

Engine

Tire

Points

Team

1

7

Felix Rosenqvist

58.6912

58.6912

0.000

8

8

58.6912

5

 

7

120.468

10:21.2484

Chevy

A

5

Arrow McLaren SP

2

10

Alex Palou

58.7971

0.1059

0.1059

8

8

58.7971

5

 

1

120.251

10:12.0903

Honda

P

8

Chip Ganassi Racing

3

26

Colton Herta

58.8450

0.1538

0.0479

7

8

58.9189

5

 

5

120.153

10:00.7968

Honda

P

16

Andretti Autosport

4

9

Scott Dixon

58.8684

0.1772

0.0234

8

8

58.8684

5

 

6

120.105

10:49.2291

Honda

A

7

Chip Ganassi Racing

5

18

Ed Jones

58.9330

0.2418

0.0646

7

8

59.2242

5

 

10

119.974

10:55.5512

Honda

A

12

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan

6

14

Sebastien Bourdais

58.9390

0.2478

0.0060

8

8

58.9390

5

 

8

119.961

10:23.6397

Chevy

A

10

AJ Foyt Enterprises

7

12

Will Power

59.0032

0.3120

0.0642

8

8

59.0032

5

 

4

119.831

10:40.5177

Chevy

A

9

Team Penske

8

20

Conor Daly

59.0974

0.4062

0.0942

7

8

1:00.1440

5

 

11

119.640

10:31.5463

Chevy

A

13

Ed Carpenter Racing

9

2

Josef Newgarden

59.1371

0.4459

0.0397

9

9

59.1371

4

 

3

119.559

10:53.6756

Chevy

A

1

Team Penske

10

60

Jack Harvey

59.1463

0.4551

0.0092

6

8

59.2042

4

 

2

119.541

10:51.8217

Honda

A

24

Meyer Shank Racing

11

21

Rinus VeeKay

59.1885

0.4973

0.0422

7

8

59.2409

5

 

9

119.456

10:34.5694

Chevy

A

14

Ed Carpenter Racing

12

30

Takuma Sato

59.1953

0.5041

0.0068

8

8

59.1953

5

 

14

119.442

10:08.0734

Honda

A

20

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

13

22

Simon Pagenaud

59.6591

0.9679

0.4638

8

8

59.6591

5

 

12

118.513

10:45.1914

Chevy

A

15

Team Penske

14

4

Dalton Kellett

59.7438

1.0526

0.0847

8

8

59.7438

4

 

13

118.345

10:38.4766

Chevy

A

3

AJ Foyt Enterprises

 

Q1 Group 1

The first driver to set a time on reds was Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe but he was soon usurped by Max Chilton of Carlin-Chevrolet, and then Marcus Ericsson ducked under the 59sec barrier, Graham Rahal joining the Swede in that bracket for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda.

Alexander Rossi jumped to third with his final flyer, but Chilton clung on to fourth, ahead of another RLL driver, Oliver Askew, who is preparing for only his third IndyCar start of the year.

He was a couple of hundredths quicker than Pato O’Ward who manhandled the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet on his final run to scrape through.

Romain Grosjean of Dale Coyne Racing with RWR-Honda was left on the inside looking in, as was Hinchcliffe, and the Penske-Chevrolet of rookie Scott McLaughlin.

However, McLaughlin felt he had been impeded by Grosjean, Race Control agreed and deleted the Frenchman’s best time, dumping him to 11th in the 13-car segment, behind his Penske-mounted rookie rival.

The second-placed runner from this morning Helio Castroneves could not reproduce his practice form, less than a tenth ahead of IndyCar debutant Callum Ilott of Juncos Hollinger-Chevrolet, who was only 0.69sec off Ericsson’s pacesetting time in the session.

Jimmie Johnson was also impressive, within a second of Ericsson.

Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay didn’t even turn a lap due to an unspecified mechanical issue that has prompted the squad to change the engine.

P

No

Name

FTime

Diff

Gap

FL

Laps

LapTime

LPit

Led

ST

FSpeed

Elapsed

Engine

Tire

Points

Team

1

8

Marcus Ericsson

58.8094

58.8094

0.000

7

8

58.9050

5

 

7

120.226

10:17.4326

Honda

A

375

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

15

Graham Rahal

58.9369

0.1275

0.1275

8

8

58.9369

4

 

5

119.966

10:36.1982

Honda

A

319

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

3

27

Alexander Rossi

59.0177

0.2083

0.0808

8

8

59.0177

5

 

4

119.801

10:34.8299

Honda

A

259

Andretti Autosport

4

59

Max Chilton

59.0735

0.2641

0.0558

5

8

1:00.1444

2

 

11

119.688

10:42.8453

Chevy

A

99

Carlin

5

45

Oliver Askew

59.1960

0.3866

0.1225

8

8

59.1960

5

 

8

119.441

10:39.0172

Honda

A

24

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

6

5

Pato O'Ward

59.2142

0.4048

0.0182

8

8

59.2142

5

 

2

119.404

10:32.6066

Chevy

A

435

Arrow McLaren SP

7

51

Romain Grosjean

59.2231

0.4137

0.0089

8

8

59.2231

5

 

3

119.386

10:43.6858

Honda

A

222

Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR

8

29

James Hinchcliffe

59.2537

0.4443

0.0306

4

8

59.3271

5

 

9

119.324

10:20.4962

Honda

A

189

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

9

3

Scott McLaughlin

59.3563

0.5469

0.1026

7

8

1:00.8358

4

 

6

119.118

10:45.5710

Chevy

A

245

Team Penske

10

06

Helio Castroneves

59.4190

0.6096

0.0627

8

8

59.4190

5

 

1

118.992

10:27.1200

Honda

A

134

Meyer Shank Racing

11

77

Callum Ilott

59.5008

0.6914

0.0818

7

7

59.5008

4

 

12

118.829

10:47.4405

Chevy

A

37

Juncos Hollinger Racing

12

48

Jimmie Johnson

59.7120

0.9026

0.2112

8

8

59.7120

4

 

10

118.408

10:09.0685

Honda

A

72

Chip Ganassi Racing

13

28

Ryan Hunter-Reay

No Time

---

---

--

---

--.---

0

 

13

---

 

Honda

Ao

215

Andretti Autosport

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