Newgarden edges Herta to Mid-Ohio pole

Josef Newgarden claimed pole by just 0.003s. Picture: Chris Owens

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden has edged out Andretti Autosport driver Colton Herta to pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

A last gasp effort from Newgarden saw the two-time IndyCar Series winner clock a lap at the death that put him 0.003s clear of Herta to claim top spot.

Marcus Ericsson was third for Chip Ganassi Racing, continuing a strong run of form off the back of his recent success on the streets of Detroit where he claimed his first win.

Fourth was Will Power, the second-best Team Penske pilot, with six-time series winner Scott Dixon in fifth in the other Chip Ganassi Racing entry.

Herta’s team-mate Alexander Rossi was sixth.

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Points leader Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing) failed to make it through to the Fast Six and will start the race from seventh.

Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) rounded out the top 10.

While Newgarden and Power were quick for Team Penske at the front, their stable-mates Scott McLaughlin and Simon Pagenaud were only 14th and 15th.

Pagenaud had been among the front runners in his group, but was bundled out after his time was scratched for not slowing sufficiently for a yellow flag.

Jack Harvey, who was similarly speedy, brought out the yellow and had his time disallowed for the incident.

Worst still was title contender Pato O’Ward who only qualified 20th for McLaren SP.

O’Ward, who lies second in the drivers’ points, was bemused by a lack of pace.

“We’ve had inconsistency from tyre to tyre,” O’Ward.

“I wasn’t the best either, but the car wasn’t even there in Lap 3, and it should have been.

“I don’t know what to say. We’re starting from the back, so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.

“I don’t want to point any fingers. I screwed up. We had pace and … it sucks, it sucks, to be starting from the back.”

McLaren SP team-mate Felix Rosenqvist, who made his return to the track for the first time since a scary crash in the Detroit Grand Prix opener, was 13th.

Fellow returnee Rinus VeeKay qualified just outside the top 10 in 11th for Ed Carpenter Racing.

The Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course gets underway tomorrow at 02:00 (AEST).

Results: Honda Indy 200 Qualifying, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Pos Num Driver Team Time
1 2 Josef Newgarden Team Penske 1’06.673
2 26 Colton Herta Andretti Autosport 1’06.677
3 8 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing 1’07.072
4 12 Will Power Team Penske 1’07.116
5 9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 1’07.135
6 27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport 1’07.218
7 10 Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 1’06.488
8 15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1’06.594
9 29 James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport 1’06.613
10 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport 1’06.751
11 21 Rinus van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 1’06.767
12 14 Sébastien Bourdais A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1’06.923
13 7 Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP 1’06.789
14 3 Scott McLaughlin Team Penske 1’06.731
15 22 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske 1’06.843
16 18 Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing 1’06.788
17 59 Max Chilton Carlin 1’06.847
18 51 Romain Grosjean Dale Coyne Racing 1’06.864
19 30 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1’07.095
20 5 Patricio O’Ward Arrow McLaren SP 1’06.867
21 4 Dalton Kellett A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1’07.586
22 45 Santino Ferrucci Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1’06.925
23 60 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing 1’07.674
24 20 Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing 1’07.070
25 48 Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing 1’08.407
26 52 Ryan Norman Dale Coyne Racing 1’07.471

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