Texas IndyCar: Newgarden beats Dixon to pole, Sato crashes

Team Penske-Chevrolet’s defending NTT IndyCar Series champion and defending Texas winner Josef Newgarden edged Scott Dixon for pole for tonight’s Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, while Takuma Sato crashed his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda.

Texas IndyCar: Newgarden beats Dixon to pole, Sato crashes

Dixon, who hasn’t taken a pole position since the 2017 Indy 500, was the first driver to crack the 215mph average over two-lap qualifying this afternoon, and at the time the three-time Texas Motor Speedway winner was more than 1mph clear of his nearest rival.

However, with the final run of the session – cars qualified in order of team entrant points from 2019 – Newgarden delivered a 215.796 and backed it up with a 215.685 to nudge ahead of the Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda driver and claim pole.

Newgarden’s teammtes Simon Pagenaud and Will Power will line up third and sixth, sandwiching the Andretti Autosport Hondas of Ryan Hunter-Reay – who bounced back from a shunt in practice – and Zach Veach.

Graham Rahal’s seventh place for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda was some consolation for the team which is now hurriedly trying to prepare a car for Takuma Sato, who shunted at the start of his qualifying run.

Having appeared to miss his turn-in point, he ran into the old traction-aid surface which doesn’t work in the intense 122deg track surface heat, and his RLLR car looped into a spin, sustaining heavy damage to the #30 car. The 2017 Indy 500 winner walked away unaided.

Alexander Rossi made it three Andretti cars in the top 10, while Felix Rosenqvist was ninth in the second Ganassi machine.

Completing the top 10 was AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet’s 45-year-old veteran Tony Kanaan who has twice won at TMS, while encouragingly for the Texas-based squad, Charlie Kimball backed him up with 12th.

Alex Palou was top rookie for Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh, snatching 16th but teammate Santino Ferrucci in the DCR with Vasser-Sullivan car did not make a qualifying attempt. Neither did Rinus VeeKay in the second Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet, which was being repaired after a sizeable shunt in practice.

The cars are now impounded – they ran race downforce in qualifying – before the Genesys 300 begins at 7pm local (Central) time.

Qualifying results:

Cla   No.  Driver  Car / Engine   Time   Delay   km/h 
Josef Newgarden Team Penske-Chevrolet 48.0578   347.200
Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda 48.0806 0.0228 347.036
22  Simon Pagenaud Team Penske-Chevrolet 48.1193 0.0615 346.756
28  Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport-Honda 48.3783 0.3205 344.900
26  Zach Veach Andretti Autosport-Honda 48.4530 0.3952 344.368
12  Will Power Team Penske-Chevrolet 48.4645 0.4067 344.287
15  Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda 48.4763 0.4185 344.203
27  Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport-Honda 48.5191 0.4613 343.899
10  Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda 48.5484 0.4906 343.692
10  14  Tony Kanaan A.J. Foyt Racing-Chevrolet 48.5876 0.5298 343.414
11  98  Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Autosport-Honda 48.6326 0.5748 343.097
12  Charlie Kimball A.J. Foyt Racing-Chevrolet 48.7264 0.6686 342.436
13  20  Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet 48.7414 0.6836 342.331
14  88  Colton Herta Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport-Honda 48.7455 0.6877 342.302
15  29  James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport-Honda 48.7669 0.7091 342.152
16  55  Alex Palou Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh-Honda 48.7896 0.7318 341.993
17  Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda 48.8965 0.8387 341.245
18  Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet 48.9027 0.8449 341.202
19  59  Conor Daly Carlin-Chevrolet 49.0386 0.9808 340.256
20  Oliver Askew Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet 49.1749 1.1171 339.313
21  60  Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing-Honda 50.4164 2.3586 330.957
22  18  Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan-Honda - - -
23  30  Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda - - -
24  21  Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet - - -
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Texas IndyCar: Dixon leads practice, three incidents for rivals
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