Marco Andretti will lead an all-Andretti Autosport front row for Sunday’s IndyCar race at Pocono after claiming pole position at the 2.5 mile tri-oval.
Andretti was the third driver to make a run, and his 221.273mph two-lap average was always going to prove a difficult target for his rivals. Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay came closest; his average speed coming in 0.3mph down on Andretti’s, while James Hinchcliffe survived a wobble to claim the third-fastest time and give the team a sweep of the three-car front row.
“It all came together,” said Andretti. “We were really focusing on every little detail in practice. It’s tremendous [to be on pole here]. I really think the IndyCars are built for this track, and vice versa.
“I think it’s going to play out a little bit like Indy. I think there’s going to be a lot of passing, contrary to what people are saying, and I think it’s going to be a lot of, right place in the right time.’ ”
It could potentially have been an Andretti 1-2-3-4 at the front of the grid when E.J. Viso went fourth-fastest with his first flying lap, but the Venezuelan lost the rear of his car at the start of his second lap and looped up into the wall, prompting a 15-minute stoppage.
Later, Alex Tagliani met a similar fate when he understeered into the Turn 1 wall at the start of his first flying lap; the impact flicking his car back down into the inside barriers. Both he and Viso have been cleared to drive in the race.
Best of the non-Andrettis was Penske’s Will Power, who was on target for a place on the front row before he incurred a boost penalty on his second flying lap and was relegated to fourth fastest.
Tony Kanaan, who comes into the weekend looking to remain in contention for the Triple Crown after his Indianapolis 500 win, also looked to have the pace to concern the Andrettis, but his super-fast warm-up lap came at the expense of his qualifying runs, and he ended up fifth.
Best of the Honda-powered runners was Scott Dixon, who will start from seventh on the grid.
Ryan Briscoe, who has been named as Panther’s driver for the weekend, was unable to participate in qualifying due to his clashing American Le Mans Series commitments at Lime Rock, and he will line up for Sunday’s race at the rear of the pack.
Pos Driver Team/Engine Speed 1. Marco Andretti Andretti/Chevy 221.273 2. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Chevy 220.892 3. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Chevy 220.431 4. Will Power Penske/Chevy 220.286 5. Tony Kanaan KV/Chevy 219.625 6. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy 219.581 7. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Honda 219.500 8. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda 219.124 9. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda 218.85910. Simona de Silvestro KV/Chevy 218.59011. Tristan Vautier Schmidt/Honda 218.57512. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon/Chevy 218.51713. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Honda 218.34514. James Jakes Rahal/Honda 218.24015. Ed Carpenter Carpenter/Chevy 218.10016. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda 217.84317. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda 217.45718. Dario Franchitti Ganassi/Honda 217.04719. Pippa Mann Coyne/Honda 216.98020. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda 216.87221. Sebastian Saavedra Dragon/Chevy 215.57022. EJ Viso Andretti/Chevy23. Ryan Briscoe Panther/Chevy24. Alex Tagliani Herta/HondaOrder set by average speed over two laps