Pato O’Ward earned his sixth Indy Lights pole of the season by running a two-lap average of 161.669mph around the 0.894-mile Iowa Speedway oval on Saturday.
Andretti Autosport locked out the first two rows, with Colton Herta (+0.0443s) starting on the front row and Ryan Norman (+0.1245s) and Dalton Kellett (0.1317s) taking second-row spots.
“The track temp was a little different [from practice],” O’Ward said, “but all in all it felt pretty close to what the changes what we did in practice were, so I’m happy with that run but I need to make sure I stay there for the race.
“We’ve had lots of poles this year and sometimes we just don’t capitalize because our racecar wasn’t that strong or we get snowplowed into a corner, so hopefully it’s going to be a clean one tomorrow and we get that win.
“I am comfortable with the racecar but we won’t know exactly how it’ll be because it’s 100 laps; we haven’t done 100 laps altogether. As of now it feels good and I’m excited for tomorrow.”
Herta holds a 17-point championship lead over teammate O’Ward.
“It’s going to be a hot one [tomorrow], it’s going to be tough,” Herta said. “I wasn’t super happy with the car back there, but you don’t really have to start up front for this race, that’s all that matters, having a good racecar and I think we have exactly that.”
Belardi Auto Racing teammates Aaron Telitz and Santi Urrutia will start fifth and sixth. Road America winner Victor Franzoni is the seventh and final car in the field.
The green flag for the Mazda Iowa 100 Presented by Cooper Tires is set for 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, immediately prior to the Iowa Corn 300 Verizon IndyCar Series headline event.