Newgarden on pole in changeable weather

Josef Newgarden

Josef Newgarden has qualified on pole for the Honda Indy Toronto after mastering the wet-dry conditions in Exhibition Place.

Newgarden denied Friday pace-setter Scott Dixon top spot on the starting grid, while Simon Pagenaud and Will Power made for a Team Penske one-three-four.

Rain left the Toronto streets wet for the start of qualifying but the circuit had dried enough by the time Round 2 took place that Dixon broke the outright lap record with a 58.5546s.

Sprinkling rain for the Firestone Fast Six saw the pace fall away again, with Newgarden taking the #1 Team Penske Chevrolet to the top with a 59.4956s at the very end.

Dixon was 0.1964s slower after a moment on a wet patch in the #9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

“I’m a bit disappointed at myself for not putting the PNC Bank car on pole position,” said Dixon.

“I feel bad for my team as well, as they gave me a car capable of doing it. I made a mistake in Turn 5 and that cost me a few tenths.

“All in all, it’s not terrible starting on the front row, but when you know you had one and then let it get away, it hurts a little bit.”

Behind the Row 2 Team Penske lockout of Pagenaud (#22 Chevrolet) and Power (#12 Chevrolet) is a Row 3 Andretti Autosport lockout of Alexander Rossi (#27 Honda) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (#28 Honda).

Takuma Sato (#30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda), Jordan King (#20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet), James Hinchcliffe (#5 Schmidt Peterson Honda), and Robert Wickens (#6 Schmidt Peterson Honda), rounded out the top 10.

Conor Daly, who is driving the #88 Harding Racing Chevrolet in place of Gabby Chaves what the team says is a trial for a potential second car in 2019, ended up 11th.

Other notables were Marco Andretti (#98 Andretti-Herta w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda) in 14th and Sebastien Bourdais (#18 DCR w/ Vasser-Sullivan Honda) in 17th.

The 12th race of the Verizon IndyCar Series, to be run over 85 laps, starts at 0535 AEST.

Highlights: Qualifying

Starting grid: Toronto

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Time Session
1 1 Josef Newgarden D/C/F 59.4956 Fast Six
2 9 Scott Dixon D/H/F 59.6920 Fast Six
3 22 Simon Pagenaud D/C/F 59.7630 Fast Six
4 12 Will Power D/C/F 59.8818 Fast Six
5 27 Alexander Rossi D/H/F 1:00.6273 Fast Six
6 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay D/H/F 1:00.6615 Fast Six
7 30 Takuma Sato D/H/F 59.0712 Round 2 / Top 12
8 20 Jordan King (R) D/C/F 59.0862 Round 2 / Top 12
9 5 James Hinchcliffe D/H/F 59.1581 Round 2 / Top 12
10 6 Robert Wickens (R) D/H/F 59.1705 Round 2 / Top 12
11 88 Conor Daly D/C/F 59.3133 Round 2 / Top 12
12 4 Matheus Leist (R) D/C/F 59.4528 Round 2 / Top 12
13 15 Graham Rahal D/H/F 1:14.7769 Round 1 / Group 1
14 98 Marco Andretti D/H/F 1:00.1721 Round 1 / Group 2
15 14 Tony Kanaan D/C/F 1:14.9691 Round 1 / Group 1
16 21 Spencer Pigot D/C/F 1:00.1838 Round 1 / Group 2
17 18 Sebastien Bourdais D/H/F 1:15.1429 Round 1 / Group 1
18 59 Max Chilton D/C/F 1:00.2694 Round 1 / Group 2
19 32 Rene Binder (R) D/C/F 1:15.8928 Round 1 / Group 1
20 23 Charlie Kimball D/C/F 1:00.4313 Round 1 / Group 2
21 10 Ed Jones D/H/F No Time Round 1 / Group 1
22 26 Zach Veach (R) D/H/F 1:00.5564 Round 1 / Group 2
23 19 Zachary Claman DeMelo (R) D/H/F 1:00.6416 Round 1 / Group 2

(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone

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