IndyCar Portland: Herta beats Power to pole, Newgarden down in P13

IndyCar

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.

Starting grid

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
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
20 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 0.1755s
21 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 0.3447s
22 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 0.2471s
23 Ed Jones Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 0.4054s

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