Josef Newgarden is peaking on the proper time. The Verizon IndyCar Sequence championship chief picked the perfect race of the season to get his first pole of 2017.
The Crew Penske driver blistered the 12-turn, 2.385-mile Sonoma Raceway Saturday with a observe document lap of 1 minute 15.5205 seconds for a velocity of 113.691 miles per hour within the No. 2 Chevrolet. That broke the earlier observe document of 1 minute 16.2565 seconds (112.594 mph) set by Simon Pagenaud in Spherical 1 of final yr’s .
Newgarden will begin first in Sunday’s Go Professional Grand Prix of Sonoma as he makes an attempt to win his first IndyCar championship.
Along with his first pole of the season, the 26-year-old Newgarden earned another level towards the championship that can be awarded after the race. He at present has a three-point lead over four-time IndyCar Sequence championship Scott Dixon, however the additional level offers him a digital four-point lead.
“It is good for us,” Newgarden stated. “We’re completely satisfied. I am actually completely satisfied for the two automobile guys. They’ve needed a pole all yr. I feel they deserved it. At a pair factors I really feel like we had pictures at it. It simply did not work out. I am actually completely satisfied for that.
“I do not assume it actually means something for the race. It actually would not. Win the pole, lose the race, lose the championship. It would not actually matter. Tomorrow is all that basically issues.”
Newgarden’s closing lap knocked Crew Penske teammate and 2014 Verizon IndyCar Sequence champion Will Energy off the pole. Energy’s quick lap was 1 minute 15.5556 seconds (113.638 mph). Defending IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud was third at 1 minute 15.6356 seconds (113.518 mph) adopted by the fourth driver at Crew Penske within the prime 4, Hélio Castroneves at 1 minute 15.8032 seconds (113.267 mph).
This yr’s Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato was fifth in a Honda at 1 minute 16.2208 seconds (112.646 mph) and four-time IndyCar Sequence champion Scott Dixon rounded out the “Quick Six” at 1 minute 16.3978 seconds (112.385 mph) in a Honda.
Not counting Newgarden’s level for the pole as a result of it isn’t awarded till after the race, Dixon is three factors behind Newgarden, Castroneves 22, Pagenaud 34 and Energy 68.
Gallery: IndyCar Sequence at Sonoma, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017
The ultimate “Quick Six” session of the season was an all-star lineup that included all 5 drivers within the prime 5 of the standings plus this winner of this yr’s Indianapolis 500.
Dixon was not an element for the pole. He simply barely superior out of the primary two qualification segments — fifth in Section 1 and sixth in Section 2.
“We’re in a really superb window for setup,” Dixon stated. “This morning the automobile was fairly good and after we did the primary run this afternoon the steadiness was OK, however we had been low grip. I don’t know why.
“We’ve gained from ninth place. We will nonetheless win from sixth.”
Sonoma Raceway is a really troublesome race course to cross and that’s another excuse why Newgarden’s first pole of the season got here at an ideal time as he tries to clinch the championship within the closing race of the season.
“It helps,” Newgarden stated. “It helps for the beginning of the race. You bought to assume it helps. However what number of IndyCar races have you ever seen the place being on the pole wasn’t the appropriate factor for the race with the way in which yellows fall or no matter it’s?
“I hope it is easy tomorrow. That may make our job so much simpler. We simply need to concentrate on making a quick race automobile that lasts. However you by no means know. I hope I am not being poetic with speaking about him beginning sixth and that being the perfect factor.
“You simply by no means know in an IndyCar race. It might fall his approach in a heartbeat. I do not assume we take any consolation in it, however we’ll definitely take it. We’ll take the purpose and the clear air to start out the race and hopefully it falls our approach.”
Along with his first pole of the season, the 26-year-old Newgarden earned another level towards the championship that can be awarded after the race.
Qualifying Saturday for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Sequence occasion on the two.385-mile(s) Sonoma Raceway, with qualifying place, automobile quantity in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, time and velocity in parentheses:
1. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:15.5205 (113.691)
2. (12) Will Energy, Chevrolet, 01:15.5556 (113.638)
three. (1) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 01:15.6356 (113.518)
four. (three) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 01:15.8032 (113.267)
5. (26) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:16.2208 (112.646)
6. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:16.3978 (112.385)
7. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 01:16.1815 (112.705)
eight. (98) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:16.1934 (112.687)
9. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:16.1968 (112.682)
10. (18) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 01:16.5811 (112.116)
11. (27) Marco Andretti, Honda, 01:16.8221 (111.765)
12. (10) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 01:16.9718 (111.547)
13. (four) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 01:17.1016 (111.360)
14. (eight) Max Chilton, Honda, 01:16.7581 (111.858)
15. (83) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 01:17.1417 (111.302)
16. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 01:16.9539 (111.573)
17. (20) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 01:17.2662 (111.122)
18. (19) Ed Jones, Honda, 01:17.0231 (111.473)
19. (7) Jack Harvey, Honda, 01:17.2722 (111.114)
20. (21) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 01:17.1602 (111.275)
21. (13) Zachary Claman DeMelo, Honda, 01:17.2814 (111.100)
22. (14) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 01:17.2507 (111.145)
It seems your Net browser just isn’t configured to show PDF recordsdata. Obtain adobe Acrobat or click on right here to obtain the PDF file.