Helio Castroneves has soared to his fourth pole position of the season amid a qualifying session interrupted by Charlie Kimball’s massive accident at Pocono.
Fairing the best of the top five in points standings, Castroneves put together a two-lap average of 220.63mph (355.06km/h) as he led Team Penske to the top three starting positions ahead of the penultimate race in the series.
Simon Pagenaud had stood at the top of the speeds but saw his 220.48 (354.82) average run eclipsed by the Brazilian who gained an all-important bonus point.
Will Power was one of the early runners, setting a 220.39 (354.68) effort which sees him start third.
Ganassi Racing star Scott Dixon will start from 11th while Graham Rahal qualified fifth.
Fairing worst of the top five on the standings was Juan Montoya who could only manage 19th fastest which sees his nine point lead over Rahal seem even more precarious.
Charlie Kimball suffered a horrifying crash as he was starting his first flying lap when his Ganassi Chevrolet looped around suddenly and slammed into the Turn 3 wall, momentarily taking flight.
After being cleared of injury at the medical centre Kimball indicated a gust of wind may have caught him by surprise.
“I went into (Turn) 1 and the car caught me out a little bit with the handling, so I made some adjustments and I don’t know if it was the wind or what caught me going into (Turn) 3,” Kimball said.
“Maybe I was a little aggressive, but it’s qualifying. You have to go for it.”
The crash, occurring at the mid-point in qualifying, caused a lengthy as officials dealt with repairs to the circuit.
See below for full qualifying results
|Pos.||Car||Driver||Manufacturer||Total Time||Two-Lap Avg. Speed|
|16||98||Gabby Chaves (R)||Honda||1:22.5111||218.152|
|19||2||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chevrolet||1:22.8751||217.194|
|20||8||Sage Karam (R)||Chevrolet||1:23.1791||216.401|
|23||83||Charlie Kimball||Chevrolet||No Time||No Speed|
|24||4||Stefano Coletti (R)||Chevrolet||No Time||No Speed|
Video of Charlie Kimball’s accident