Andretti takes pole on IndyCar's return to Pocono

Andretti takes pole on IndyCar's return to Pocono


Andretti takes pole on IndyCar's return to Pocono


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