Aleshin wins his first IndyCar pole

Hot on the heels of contending for victory at Mid-Ohio, Mikhail Aleshin earned his first ever pole position in the Verizon IndyCar Series, as speeds hit 220mph mark at Pocono Raceway.

Aleshin wins his first IndyCar pole
Mikhail Aleshin, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Josef Newgarden, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Josef Newgarden, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda
Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport Honda
Alexander Rossi, Herta - Andretti Autosport Honda

Late cloud cover coincided with the runs of Takuma Sato, Helio Castroneves and Josef Newgarden, making the 2.5-mile tri-oval quicker late in the session. Yet Aleshin’s 220.445mph average held strong and presented him his second pole in his sophomore IndyCar season.

It also gave Schmidt Peterson Motorsports a sweep of poles on 2.5-mile superspeedways this year, as James Hinchcliffe took top spot for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Newgarden and Castroneves were comfortably the quickest Chevrolet runners in a session otherwise dominated by Honda runners. Sato’s AJ Foyt Racing-Honda split the Ed Carpenter and Team Penske entry and was the third of the cars to break into the 220mph zone.

Carlos Munoz and Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi went fifth and seventh for Andretti Autosport, with Hinchcliffe sixth.

Although qualifying is largely irrelevant in a 500-mile race around such a wide track as Pocono Raceway, for the record Will Power topped the realistic 2016 title contenders in eighth, with Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud 14th and Scott Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing-Chevrolet 19th.

He will start ahead of only the Dale Coyne Racing drivers Conor Daly and Pippa Mann, as well as Ryan Hunter-Reay who was unable to take part following his shunt this morning.

Others who struck the wall in morning practice did make qualifying, however. Charlie Kimball will roll off 16th, with Juan Pablo Montoya driving a “Frankenstein” collation of his Penske teammates’ body panels in 15th

IndyCar 2016 - Pocono - Qualifications
P.DriverTeam (Engine)MPH
1 7  Mikhail Aleshin http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Aleshin_s.png Schmidt (H) 220.445
2 21  Josef Newgarden http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Newgarden_s.png Carpenter (C) 220.195
3 14  Takuma Sato http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Sato_s.png Foyt (H) 220.067
4 3  Helio Castroneves http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Castroneves_s.png Penske (C) 219.781
5 26  Carlos Muñoz http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Munoz_s.png Andretti (H) 219.647
6 5  James Hinchcliffe http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Hinchcliffe_s.png Schmidt (H) 219.463
7 98  Alexander Rossi http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Rossi_s.png Andretti-Herta (H) 219.326
8 12  Will Power http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Power_s.png Penske (C) 218.617
9 10  Tony Kanaan http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Kanaan_s.png Ganassi (C) 218.606
10 20  Ed Carpenter http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Carpenter_s.png Carpenter (C) 218.424
11 15  Graham Rahal http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Rahal_s.png Rahal (H) 218.204
12 41  Jack Hawksworth http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Hawksworth_s.png Foyt (H) 218.051
13 27  Marco Andretti http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Andretti_s.png Andretti (H) 218.012
14 22  Simon Pagenaud http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Pagenaud_s.png Penske (C) 217.721
15 2  Juan Pablo Montoya http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Montoya_s.png Penske (C) 217.284
16 83  Charlie Kimball http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Kimball_s.png Ganassi (C) 216.917
17 8  Max Chilton http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Chilton_s.png Ganassi (C) 216.689
18 11  Sébastien Bourdais http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Bourdais_s.png KVSH (C) 216.263
19 9  Scott Dixon http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Dixon_s.png Ganassi (C) 215.337
20 88  Conor Daly http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Daly_s.png Coyne (H) 214.757
21 19  Pippa Mann http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Mann_s.png Coyne (H) 211.267
22 28  Ryan Hunter-Reay http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/custom/car-thumbs/INDYCAR_2016/14-Pocono/Hunter-Reay_s.png Andretti (H) no time

(C) = Chevrolet, (H) = Honda

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