Pagenaud claims pole, Power 4th for IndyCar finale

Simon Pagenaud has claimed his seventh pole of the season at the Sonoma finale

Simon Pagenaud has claimed his seventh pole of the season at the Sonoma finale

Simon Pagenaud has affirmed his advantage by leaping to pole at the final round of the IndyCar Series at Sonoma.

In a last gasp scramble, Pagenaud pounced with a 1:16.25s effort to edge Helio Castroneves (1:16.41s).

Team Penske has taken a stranglehold in the final qualifying of the year by taking the first two rows of the grid with Juan Montoya third ahead of Power.

Pagenaud earns a bonus point for topping the Fast 6, squeezing his lead to 44 in the double points round ahead of Power as the pair are set for an enthralling fight in the 85-lap race at the 4km circuit.

The French flyer was fourth in the dying seconds of the session before pulling out his pole winning lap in a gripping finish.

“It’s very gratifying. But we’ve been working on making the car as good as it could be on reds,” Pagenaud said.

“Every time we put them on, it’s a dream.”

The equation will see Pagenaud seal his first series crown if he finishes fifth or higher no matter where Power, the 2014 champion, finishes.

The only two Honda runners to make the Fast 6, Graham Rahal (Rahal/Lanigan/Letterman) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andrett Autosport) will start fifth and sixth respectively.

See below for full qualifying results

1

22

Simon Pagenaud

 D/C/C/F

01:16.2565

112.594

Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six

2

3

Helio Castroneves

D/C/C/F

01:16.4134

112.362

Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six

3

2

Juan Montoya

D/C/C/F

01:16.5400

112.177

Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six

4

12

Will Power

D/C/C/F

01:16.6659

111.992

Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six

5

15

Graham Rahal

D/H/H/F

01:16.7149

111.921

Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six

6

28

Ryan Hunter-Reay

D/H/H/F

01:16.9132

111.632

Round 3 / Firestone Fast Six

7

9

Scott Dixon

D/C/C/F

01:16.5700

112.133

Elimination Round 2 / Top 12

8

98

Alexander Rossi (r)

D/H/H/F

01:16.5840

112.112

Elimination Round 2 / Top 12

9

11

Sebastien Bourdais

D/C/C/F

01:16.6115

112.072

Elimination Round 2 / Top 12

10

21

Josef Newgarden

D/C/C/F

01:16.8142

111.776

Elimination Round 2 / Top 12

11

7

Mikhail Aleshin

D/H/H/F

01:16.8909

111.665

Elimination Round 2 / Top 12

12

83

Charlie Kimball

D/C/C/F

01:16.9627

111.561

Elimination Round 2 / Top 12

13

10

Tony Kanaan

D/C/C/F

01:16.9481

111.582

Elimination Round 1 / Group 1

14

27

 Marco Andretti

D/H/H/F

01:16.9288

111.610

Elimination Round 1 / Group 2

15

14

Takuma Sato

D/H/H/F

01:16.9661

111.556

Elimination Round 1 / Group 1

16

26

Carlos Munoz

D/H/H/F

01:17.0314

111.461

Elimination Round 1 / Group 2

17

41

Jack Hawksworth

D/H/H/F

01:17.0823

111.387

Elimination Round 1 / Group 1

18

8

Max Chilton(r)

D/C/C/F

01:17.1310

111.317

Elimination Round 1 / Group 2

19

20

Spencer Pigot(r)

D/C/C/F

01:17.3052

111.066

Elimination Round 1 / Group 1

20

5

James Hinchcliffe

D/H/H/F

01:17.1926

111.228

Elimination Round 1 / Group 2

21

18

Conor Daly(r)

D/H/H/F

01:17.6771

110.535

Elimination Round 1 / Group 1

22

19

RC Enerson(r)

D/H/H/F

01:17.3264

111.036

Elimination Round 1 / Group 2

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