Long Beach IndyCar: Newgarden takes pole, title rivals falter

Josef Newgarden took his fourth pole position of the season for Team Penske-Chevrolet, while Alex Palou and Pato O’Ward will start from the lower end of the Top 10.

Long Beach IndyCar: Newgarden takes pole, title rivals falter

Firestone Fast Six

Romain Grosjean was the first of the Firestone Fast Six to show his hand with a 68.7sec lap, but then Helio Castroneves – a four-time Long Beach polesitter – went top with a 68.4827sec lap.

But then Josef Newgarden delivered a 68.2241sec that put pole position apparently beyond anyone’s reach.

Scott Dixon did believe pole was on the cards, but he caught up with Castroneves’ second attempt at pole and reckoned that cost him P1. He did, however, manage to depose the Meyer Shank Racing driver.

Simon Pagenaud clinched fourth ahead of Felix Rosenqvist of Arrow McLaren SP-Chevy and Grosjean.

P

Name

FTime

Diff

FL

Laps

FSpeed

Engine

Team

1

Josef Newgarden

1:08.2241

1:08.2241

3

3

103.846

Chevy

Team Penske

2

Scott Dixon

1:08.4422

0.2181

3

3

103.515

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

3

Helio Castroneves

1:08.4827

0.2586

3

3

103.454

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

4

Simon Pagenaud

1:08.6514

0.4273

3

3

103.200

Chevy

Team Penske

5

Felix Rosenqvist

1:08.7461

0.5220

4

4

103.057

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

6

Romain Grosjean

1:08.7577

0.5336

1

3

103.040

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR

Q2

Remarkably, Penske’s #12 crew got Power out in time for Q2 and he turned the fourth fastest lap on Primaries and AMSP had also repaired Pato O’Ward’s car.

But the first driver to duck into the 68s on reds was Helio Castroneves of Meyer Shank Racing, before he was beaten by 0.35sec by Romain Grosjean with a 68.1776sec, and then edged by Simon Pagenaud.

Things turned to chaos at the close of the session when Power’s car was struggling with his gearshift – doubtless a result of the earlier impact with Harvey – and he brushed the Turn 9 wall. The two-time Long Beach winner came to a halt at Turn 10, prompting a local yellow. It appeared Scott Dixon, Felix Rosenqvist, James Hinchcliffe and Ed Jones improved their times – which would have been clearly against the rules, as Power himself discovered in qualifying at Laguna Seca – and bumped O’Ward out.

In fact only Jones was penalized – much to the irritation of AMSP team president Taylor Kiel and O’Ward.

Thus the Fast Six was set with Grosjean, Rosenqvist, Castroneves, Newgarden, Pagenaud and Dixon.

Q1 Group 2

Colton Herta set the fastest time on primary tires and stayed out an extra two laps apparently hoping to save a set of reds until the Firestone Fast Six, as he did in Nashville. Unfortunately, he didn’t have enough of a pace advantage over the opposition to make that work this time, and brushed a wall as he stayed out late on the primaries. That left him time for just one flyer on reds and it appeared the left-rear toelink gave up, and so he fell to seventh.

However, with Felix Rosenqvist topping the Group, ahead of Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves, there came news that an incident between fourth-placed Romain Grosjean of Dale Coyne Racing with RWR was under investigation for an incident with Oliver Askew of Rahal Letterman Lanigan. However, there would be no reprieve for the weekend’s fastest driver, as it was Askew, not Grosjean who was penalized with the loss of his two fastest laps.

“We were trying to save a set [of reds] for the Fast Six if we could,” said Herta. “We had enough time to do four [laps on blacks] and two [laps on reds], everybody did, we thought that would be the best [strategy]. We thought we'd be fastest on the fourth on blacks and second on reds, but we didn’t get to find out because I slapped the wall there and broke the left-rear toe link unfortunately.

“It was a handful until it eventually… well it was bent until it broke. It was my fault, unfortunately.

“It will make for an interesting race though. We’re starting 14th, we’ve got two sets of new reds, so could be a good thing and we’ll charge to the front tomorrow.”

Asked if the race was winnable, he replied: “You never know in this race, there’s going to be a lot of yellows and a lot of restarts and stuff, and we have a great car, so definitely.”

Herta’s teammate James Hinchcliffe and Ed Jones in the second Coyne car made it through.

Also commendable was Callum Ilott’s ninth fastest time for Juncos Hollinger, ahead of Askew, all three AJ Foyt Racing cars and Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing.

Q1 Group 1

Alex Palou had an alarming moment at Turn 9 on primary tires, brushed the wall at Turn 4 but went third fastest on the blacks, behind Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon, and ahead of Josef Newgarden and Will Power – and crucially, title rival Pato O’Ward. Then all 14 drivers pitted for the Firestone alternate tires.

Scott McLaughlin was the first to set a strong flyer on the reds, ahead of Power, before Palou usurped them both, and then Newgarden clocked 68.6705sec to go top, a time he trimmed to 68.5080sec to top the session. He was ahead of the Ganassi cars of Dixon and Palou.

The red flew in the dying seconds, as Jack Harvey smacked the tires hard at Turn 8. An unsighted Power was next through and clipped the Meyer Shank Racing-Honda, sustaining left-rear suspension damage and a broken wing, so although he was through to Q2 on lap times, the #12 crew was rushing to ensure his car would be ready. They were aided in the quest by the need to retrieve Harvey’s car and restack the tires.

O’Ward was fourth fastest but bent a left-rear toelink on the wall exiting Turn 4, necessitating Arrow McLaren SP’s #5 crew to make a major fix on pitlane. Hunter-Reay was the sixth fastest, whereas two-time Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi did not.

Jimmie Johnson was impressively within 1.8sec of fastest time. 

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 United States Josef Newgarden
United States Team Penske 3 1'08.224 103.846
2 New Zealand Scott Dixon
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 3 1'08.442 0.218 0.218 103.515
3 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Meyer Shank Racing 3 1'08.482 0.258 0.040 103.454
4 France Simon Pagenaud
United States Team Penske 3 1'08.651 0.427 0.168 103.200
5 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
United States Arrow McLaren SP 4 1'08.746 0.522 0.094 103.057
6 France Romain Grosjean
United States Dale Coyne Racing 3 1'08.757 0.533 0.011 103.040

Q2

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 France Romain Grosjean
United States Dale Coyne Racing 7 1'08.177 103.917
2 New Zealand Scott Dixon
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 7 1'08.311 0.133 0.133 103.714
3 France Simon Pagenaud
United States Team Penske 7 1'08.530 0.353 0.219 103.381
4 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Meyer Shank Racing 5 1'08.556 0.378 0.025 103.343
5 United States Josef Newgarden
United States Team Penske 6 1'08.567 0.389 0.011 103.326
6 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
United States Arrow McLaren SP 7 1'08.629 0.451 0.062 103.233
7 Canada James Hinchcliffe
United States Andretti Autosport 7 1'08.714 0.536 0.084 103.105
8 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
United States Arrow McLaren SP 7 1'08.833 0.656 0.119 102.926
9 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
United States Dale Coyne Racing 7 1'08.879 0.702 0.045 102.858
10 Spain Alex Palou
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 7 1'08.946 0.768 0.066 102.758
11 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
United States Andretti Autosport 6 1'09.133 0.955 0.186 102.481
12 Australia Will Power
United States Team Penske 5 1'09.227 1.050 0.094 102.340

Q1 Group 2

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
United States Arrow McLaren SP 7 1'08.622 103.243
2 France Simon Pagenaud
United States Team Penske 7 1'08.664 0.041 0.041 103.181
3 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Meyer Shank Racing 6 1'08.699 0.077 0.035 103.127
4 France Romain Grosjean
United States Dale Coyne Racing 7 1'08.714 0.092 0.014 103.105
5 Canada James Hinchcliffe
United States Andretti Autosport 7 1'08.843 0.221 0.129 102.912
6 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
United States Dale Coyne Racing 7 1'08.877 0.254 0.033 102.861
7 United States Colton Herta
United States Andretti Autosport 6 1'09.109 0.487 0.232 102.516
8 Japan Takuma Sato
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 6 1'09.381 0.759 0.272 102.114
9 United Kingdom Callum Ilott
Juncos Hollinger Racing 7 1'09.436 0.813 0.054 102.034
10 United States Charlie Kimball
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 6 1'09.679 1.057 0.243 101.677
11 France Sébastien Bourdais
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 6 1'09.702 1.079 0.022 101.644
12 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 7 1'09.760 1.137 0.058 101.559
13 Canada Dalton Kellett
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 7 1'09.914 1.292 0.154 101.335
14 United States Oliver Askew
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 7 1'10.017 1.395 0.103 101.186

Q1 Group 1

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 United States Josef Newgarden
United States Team Penske 6 1'08.508 103.416
2 New Zealand Scott Dixon
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 7 1'08.570 0.062 0.062 103.321
3 Spain Alex Palou
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 7 1'08.711 0.203 0.140 103.110
4 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
United States Arrow McLaren SP 7 1'08.771 0.263 0.060 103.019
5 Australia Will Power
United States Team Penske 6 1'08.850 0.342 0.079 102.901
6 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
United States Andretti Autosport 6 1'08.857 0.349 0.006 102.891
7 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
United States Team Penske 6 1'08.861 0.353 0.003 102.885
8 United States Alexander Rossi
United States Andretti Autosport 7 1'08.994 0.486 0.133 102.686
9 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 7 1'09.136 0.628 0.142 102.475
10 United States Graham Rahal
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 6 1'09.399 0.891 0.263 102.087
11 United States Conor Daly
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 6 1'09.581 1.073 0.181 101.820
12 United Kingdom Max Chilton
United Kingdom Carlin 6 1'09.752 1.244 0.170 101.571
13 United Kingdom Jack Harvey
United States Meyer Shank Racing 5 1'10.466 1.958 0.713 100.542
14 United States Jimmie Johnson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 6 1'10.512 2.004 0.046 100.476

 

 

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