Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta secured the second pole position of his rookie IndyCar season in qualifying at Portland, nudging out Will Power with the last lap of the session.
Herta, who also took pole at Road America, initially completed a series of laps on the slower, black-walled Firestone tyres in the early stages of the Fast Six segment, gaining a slim advantage over reigning champion Scott Dixon, as Power waited until the end of the session to make his sole run.
The Penske driver then vaulted to provisional pole on the alternate red-walled tyres, despite losing time out of the final corner, posting a time of 57.830 seconds.
But Herta had pitted to take on fresh red tyres for a final assault, and lapped 0.019s quicker than Power to secure pole, with Dixon third.
Power was the highest placed Chevrolet runner, as only he and Spencer Pigot made it through to the Fast 12, with Pigot’s Ed Carpenter Racing machine qualifying 10th.
After disappointing results at Pocono and Gateway, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi was unable to seize an opportunity to eat into Josef Newgarden’s championship lead after the 2017 champion fell in the first qualifying group.
Rossi, who had comfortably made it through to the Fast 12, was bumped late in the 10-minute segment by Chip Ganassi’s Felix Rosenqvist, who improved by a tenth of a second to edge Rossi out.
Rosenqvist went onto take fifth on the grid, alongside Ryan Hunter-Reay in sixth.
This left Rossi stranded the wrong side of the cut-off line in seventh, with points leader Newgarden down in 13th after a scrappy session where he ran wide on his fastest lap.
After Newgarden was eliminated, Simon Pagenaud – second in the points standings – also failed to capitalise on the Penske driver’s misfortunes, as he could only manage 18th on the grid.
Jack Harvey impressed for Meyer Shank Racing on his way to fourth, slotting in alongside Dixon on the second row.
Conor Daly, who is substituting for Marcus Ericsson as he is on third driver duties for Alfa Romeo at Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix, secured a top 10 starting spot for the #7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry with ninth, one place behind team-mate James Hinchcliffe.
|1||Colton Herta||Harding Racing||Dallara/Honda||57.8111s|
|2||Will Power||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||0.0192s|
|3||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda||0.0244s|
|4||Jack Harvey||Meyer Shank Racing||Dallara/Honda||0.2897s|
|5||Felix Rosenqvist||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda||0.3509s|
|6||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||0.3712s|
|7||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||0.0753s|
|8||James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda||0.1883s|
|9||Conor Daly||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda||0.2081s|
|10||Spencer Pigot||Ed Carpenter Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||0.2304s|
|11||Zach Veach||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||0.4038s|
|12||Sebastien Bourdais||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda||0.4890s|
|13||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||0.1474s|
|14||Santino Ferrucci||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda||0.0365s|
|15||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Dallara/Honda||0.1537s|
|16||Marco Andretti||Andretti Herta||Dallara/Honda||0.0416s|
|17||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Dallara/Honda||0.1557s|
|18||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||0.1368s|
|19||Tony Kanaan||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Chevrolet||0.2919s|
|21||Matheus Leist||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Chevrolet||0.3447s|
|23||Ed Jones||Ed Carpenter Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||0.4054s|